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Going underground in South African platinum mines to explore women miners’ experiences

Going underground in South African platinum mines to explore women miners’ experiences
13 pages

Authors
Benya, Asanda

Editors
Sweetman, Caroline
Journal
Gender & Development Volume 25 Issue 3 Natural Resource Justice

Publication date
09 Nov 2017

DOI
10.1080/13552074.2017.1379775

Publisher
Oxfam GB
Routledge

Type
Journal article

Women have worked underground in South African mines since 2003. Their inclusion has been lauded by some as a step in the right direction – that is, towards gender equality in employment, as well as challenging gender stereotypes about work and women’s abilities. This dominant narrative, however, fails to acknowledge and address the challenges faced by women in mining. Using participant observation, living and working alongside women miners over the course of a year, I explored these challenges, and analysed their implications. I argue that if the mining sector wants to fully include women in mining, it needs to go beyond using quotas to achieve gender parity in numbers of women and men workers. While access to these jobs is important, retention depends on addressing the masculine culture which is deeply embedded in mining, making this a very challenging environment for women workers

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.

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