An assessment of mining associations as a source of livelihoods for women miners: A case study of United Women Miners Association in Inyankuni range.
Mining Associations have emerged as the main facet of introducing women into the male dominated mining industry. This study sought to assess how mining associations can help women embark on mining as an alternative source of livelihoods and improve their household incomes. The research used both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. The instruments used included questionnaires of which sixty were distributed to the sampled women miners. Interviews were conducted to solicit information from ten key informants who were purposively sampled. The study found out that mining associations are important as they can improve the household incomes of both workers and women mine owners and at large contribute to the growth of national economy. All the respondents recorded an increase in their incomes from the mining venture through the association. The incomes realised from the mining ventures were used locally for critical services such as payment of fees and investment into another project. The association also created employment for males in the district. The study concluded that mining associations can help women venture into the male dominated mining industry and still perform better. The study recommendations that women miners in the association need to seek financial assistance from donors, Non Governmental Organisations and government to finance their businesses and increase their output.