Gender in Mining Governance: An annotated bibliography for artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)

An annotated bibliography listing key resources for researchers exploring the topic of gender and artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM).

By Olivia Lyster, Ashley Smith-Roberts on January 17, 2022

The global artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector is estimated to comprise nearly 45 million people worldwide. These women and men produce significant amounts of the world’s minerals, from 20% of the world’s gold to nearly 80% of coloured gemstones.

Both women and men play critical roles in the sector: women were estimated in 2003 to make up nearly 30% of the global ASM workforce, a figure that is much higher in some countries and contexts. Not only do they contribute directly to mineral production, but they are also heavily involved in the provision of services (e.g., mining inputs, mineral processing, etc.) to ASM communities. However, despite the important role they play, women are among the groups that face marginalization in the sector. At the same time, ASM remains an important source of income for many women, who can earn relatively high incomes in the sector.

Despite increased interest over the past decade by the development community in promoting gender equality in the ASM sector, it remains poorly understood in many regions. There are still gaps in gender-responsive research on participation in ASM, impacts of ASM, and evidence-based solutions to overcoming barriers faced by marginalized groups such as women.

This annotated bibliography gives an overview of key resources on the topic of gender and ASM. Resources focus on research conducted in the past decade with the exception of those assessed by the authors to be critically important to understanding the issues around gender and ASM.

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