Dimensions of women’s mobility, livelihoods and vulnerability in artisanal and small-scale mining-induced local economy


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Dominant artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) narratives highlight the invisibility of women’s livelihoods and gendered struggles in the sector. Indeed, livelihood practices in ASM, how daily mobilities facilitate these practices and the specific vulnerabilities women face are still understudied and undertheorised. Drawing on qualitative research in Prestea-Bondaye mining area (PBMA), Ghana, we explore the livelihood dimensions, forms of mobility and vulnerabilities of women in ASM from an open rural economy perspective where ASM serves as a centrifugal force that pulls or drives the emergence and sustenance of both farm and other off-farm livelihood activities. Our findings highlight two forms of mobility (i.e. outside the mining communities to ASM spaces, and to/within the mining communities) that are tied to different livelihood practices and vulnerabilities. From our inquiry, women build livelihoods in an ASM-induced local economy in three different forms: permanent, temporary, and indirect. The indirect livelihoods women build in an ASM-induced local economy include: 1) ‘san ban ho’ (side-work livelihood based on credit conditions), 2) petty-trading in ASM spaces, 3) home-based trading, 4) market-day trading, 5) commuting trading, and 6) underground pit ‘ghetto’ sponsorship. The findings show that while daily mobility shape the viability of livelihood-building efforts in an ASM-induced local economy, in most cases women experience different social and economic vulnerabilities that impact their health and livelihood benefits. Implications of our findings for policy and practice are further discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103061
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Early online date1 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)
  • Economic vulnerability
  • Ghana
  • Livelihoods
  • Open local rural economy
  • Women


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