Women constitute a significant proportion of the mining sector across the Great Lakes Region (GLR) yet they face often significant discrimination and risk in many areas.

They often receive low pay for their work. Very frequently women are excluded from any form of training and therefore end up relegated to
menial and lower-paid tasks.

Women are often expected to combine their work in mining with their household responsibilities leading to a very heavy work burden. This can also mean that women are obliged to bring their children to the mines which can be a starting point for child labour.

Despite the fact that mechanization should intuitively make it easier for women to work in mining as it reduces the physical strength needed, in fact the number of women in mining reduces with mechanization due to discrimination against women receiving formal training and access to equipment.

For this reason, a gender focus in ASM formalization is essential to ensure the result is inclusive of women rather than causing further discrimination.

Awareness of women’s rights in mining is at a very low level in many areas, not just with the miners themselves but also with government agencies, local authorities and even international organizations.