" Boom or Gloom?” An examination of the impact of mining activities on the livelihoods of female small holder farmers in Zvishavane District
Mwase, Debra T.
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Many studies have focused on how mining activities have affected local communities however very few studies have examined the impact of the extractive industry on the livelihood activities of rural women. The extraction of minerals has caused massive environmental degradation as well as air, water and noise pollution. Women, because of their gender roles largely rely on the environment and therefore bear the brunt of the negative impacts of mining activities. The legislative and policy framework has not provided adequate safeguards to the livelihoods of female small holder farmers. The study sought to understand how women’s livelihood activities been affected by mining activities in Zvishavane. The research is guided by the Women’s Law Approach to explore the impact that mining activities have on rural women’s livelihood activities. Utilising the feminist-ecological perspective the research finds that mining has some negative effects on agricultural activities being carried out by women because it negatively affects the natural environment. The research finds that although farming activities have been affected, mining activities have led to the diversification of rural livelihoods in Zvishavane. Furthermore women have tried to participate in the mining industry with little success but have managed to do well in downstream support services. The law has proved to be inadequate in safeguarding the livelihoods of the rural farmers. In cases where the law is available it has been affected by the weak implementation mechanisms. There is need for legal and policy reform particularly in regards to the conducting of Environmental Impact Assessment so that issues of gender are also addressed. Law reform initiatives should consult widely particularly communities affected by mining activities. Non Governmental Organisations should assist women affected by mining through Public Interest Litigation Initiatives.
Additional Citation InformationMwase, D. T. (2016). “Boom or Gloom?” An examination of the impact of mining activities on the livelihoods of female small holder farmers in Zvishavane District (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Zimbabwe, Harare.
Subjectwomen small holder farmers
rural women livelihoods