Environmental Science & Policy ( IF 4.767 ) Pub Date : 2020-11-20 , DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.10.019 Doris Buss; Blair Rutherford; Cynthia Kumah; Mary Spear
This paper considers the apparent confluence of three policy developments: the Sustainable Development Goals, as the latest international commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment; the growing push to formalize the artisanal and small-scale mining sector; and the call to address environmental concerns of ASM through increased regulation, including formalization. Informed by feminist political economy and political ecology scholarship, we consider the kinds of gendered meanings about gold ASM (ASGM) and the environment made possible through the points where formal policy commitments to ASGM, environmental protection and women’s inclusion intersect, or fail to intersect. We explore three contexts in which environment narratives have been framed and/or mobilized: the 2014 Minamata Convention on Mercury, followed by two brief case studies examining the consequences of the enforcement of gender-blind environmental initiatives on the livelihoods of women artisanal gold miners in central Mozambique and eastern Ghana. The paper concludes with three recommendations for future work on the intersection of environmental protection programs and women’s empowerment agendas for the ASGM sector.