- Report year:2003
- Report author: Jennifer J. Hinton, Marcello M. Veiga and Christian Beinhoff
- Organisation: Dept. of Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada 2 and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Vienna, Austria
Approximately 30% of the world’s artisanal miners are women who occupy a number of roles ranging from labour-intensive mining methods to the processing aspect of artisanal mining, including amalgamation with mercury in the case of gold extraction. As processing activities are often conducted in the home, women and their families can be at great risk from mercury poisoning and silicosis. In many cases, the roles of women in artisanal mining communities differ significantly from those of men, and extend well beyond direct participation in mining activities – this added facet brings with it different contributions and a completely unique set of risks and opportunities.