Briefing paper
22 July 2021

Gender-based violence and women in artisanal mining in Zimbabwe

Author: Owen Mafongoya, Macreynold Maroveke, Samson Muzenda
Published by: ALIGN, Tariro Youth Development Trust
View briefing note
Cover of brief

This study, conducted by the Tariro Youth Development Trust (TYDT) utilizes a mixed methods approach to explore gender-based violence (GBV) experiences of women in artisanal small-scale mining (ASM). The study was conducted in three mining hotspot districts in Zimbabwe namely; Mberengwa, Zvishavane and Shurugwi. Although the study primarily targeted women, it also involved men to examine the gender norms behind high levels of physical violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse, sexual violence, economic violence, forced labour and maltreatment affecting women and girls in ASM. In addition, the study investigated the abuse of power by men in ASM, women’s general vulnerability, the harsh nature of the industry, common cultural practices rooted in patriarchy that normalises harmful gender norms as well as the lack of strong laws and policies to protect women and girls at risk of GBV in ASM.

In the face of the persistent economic meltdown and rising poverty levels, women and girls in ASM are trapped in a cycle of hardships and limited choices. Faced with these precarious conditions, patriarchy poses the biggest obstacle for women and girls to effectively exploit and benefit from ASM, the only available means of livelihood.  

This report is an output from the second round of ALIGN's micro-granting facility which provides organisations based in low- and middle-income countries with grants for research and learning. See more about this round of funding.