In this paper, we explore women's livelihoods and the operation of gender norms and structures in the Osiri artisanal gold mining area in western Kenya. While "women" and "gender" are seen as increasingly important to policy frameworks for developing mineral resources on the African continent, understandings of women's roles in artisanal and small-scale mining, and of the importance of gender in structuring those livelihoods, remain limited. Drawing on field research conducted from 2014 to 2018, we demonstrate that while gender norms and structures operate to delimit women's mining roles, in daily encounters women and men navigate, resist and sometimes reframe those norms. Further, we explore how gender norms may not impact all women the same and how other social variables, such as age, may also influence how women navigate their mining livelihoods.
- Artisanal and small-scale mining
- feminist political economy