Women’s Productive Labour Opportunities and Patriarchal Forms of Power at Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mines in Burkina Faso

My thesis examines the effect of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) on renegotiation of gender roles. ASGM is a global phenomenon, but academic research focusing on female everyday life is relatively absent regarding mining and development. Closing this gap is important for the understanding of how ASGM impacts gender relations and the diverse group of women who have been neglected in literature and policy. Doing so will clarify the circumstances under which this emergent economic opportunity changes, shapes and nuances the existing patriarchal social order. I ask how women’s empowerment or subjugation and an adapted livelihood through ASGM are related. I want to understand how intra-household power is renegotiated through the changing livelihood of women and men and where and how these social changes can be observed in particular spaces. The research question is approached with a sequential mixed-method design and is situated in the Mossi Centre-South of Burkina Faso (BF). In a first phase an ethnographic case study of the village Toula (near Manga) in BF is conducted over the period of a year. Informed by the first phase, a quantitative spatial analysis of the women’s bargaining power indicators is undertaken in a larger area around Zorgho with several ASGM. I expect that ASGM as a local economic transformation gives the women means of income and more control over land – therefore empowering them by improving their intra-household bargaining position. I expect my thesis to inform policy making on ASGM and development endeavours in ASGM areas for gender-sensitive approaches that hold the potential to empower women.

Supervisor: Max Bergman

Co-Supervisor: Michèle Amacker

Jessica Zanetti G3S

Jessica Zanetti