Gender Issues in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Sector
Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is a significant source of income for tens of millions of people in developing countries. ASM refers to small groups and individuals engaged in low-cost and labor-intensive excavation of minerals using minimal mechanization. ASM techniques are used in the production of precious minerals such as gold and diamonds, fertilizers used in agriculture, garnet used to filter water, and gravel and stone used for building bridges and paving rural roads. According to current estimates, at least 40 million people globally work directly in the ASM sector, and nearly 300 million people in more than 70 countries depend indirectly on the sector. However, there is significant variation across countries, with women, representing 30–50 percent of the ASM sector, earning only one quarter of what men earn.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Artisanal Mining and Property Rights program’s approach to addressing gender issues in the ASM sector is by understanding how and why women and men differentially interact with, and are impacted by, ASM production and commercialization.
- Sabine Jiekak
- May 26, 2020