Gender and regulatory reforms in artisanal and small scale minin g; a case study for empowerment
Following other African states that have moved to regulate the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining sector (ASM), recently the government of Uganda through the Minerals and Mining Policy proposed a number of regulatory reforms aimed at formalization of ASM. Through field research in the Mubende gold mining District, and analysis of the legal regime on ASM in Uganda, this paper looks at the extent to which the proposed regulatory reforms consider gender, and the scope for inclusion, exclusion or adverse incorporation of female artisanal miners into the formal mining economy. Scrutiny of the legal framework reveals that Uganda’s regulatory framework on ASM glosses over women’s place in mining, ignoring important entry points to promote gender equity, while the field study reveals that women’s specific needs in ASM are poorly understood; due to absence of consultation with women in ASM during sector reform process; worse still, policy recommendations such as miners’ associations run counter to their interests. Given the above constraints of the law and policy, the paper explores actionable recommendations at multidimensional levels to unlock women’s potential in the sector.