Gender Dimensions of Rural Livelihoods in Artisanal and Small-scale Mining in Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria
Mining activities contribute to livelihoods and welfare of rural households in communities that are endowed with mineral resources. Oyo State is one of the states in Nigeria where artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) livelihood activities are undertaken. ASM is an important driver of local economic development, while simultaneously contributing to a complex array of positive and negative socio-economic, health and environmental impacts. There is however, dearth of empirical studies on the gender dimensions of ASM. This study therefore, assessed the gender dimensions of ASM in rural households in Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria.
Multistage sampling technique was used in selecting respondents. Random sampling method was used to select men and women respondents from three communities in the study area. The communities are Igbojaye, Ofiki and Komu. Both qualitative (key informant interviews) and quantitative (structured questionnaire) methods were used to gather data. A total of 120 respondents, comprising both men and women were surveyed. Information collected include: socio-demographic characteristics of miners, income level of miners, as well as perceived health and environmental impacts of mining activities. Data were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings revealed significant differences in the socio-economic characteristics, income levels, perceptions on health and environmental impacts of mining activities by gender. The average age of men was 37.34 (±9.02) years while that of women was 30.06 (±5.05) years. Household size of men averaged 5.69 (±2.70) persons while that of women was 4.58 (±1.87) persons. Average years of experience in mining activities for men and women were 10.36 (±4.98) and 8.32 (±3.44) years, respectively. The types of minerals mined in the study area were tourmaline and tantalite. Twenty two percent of the women and 38.6% of the men earned more than 25% of their monthly income from ASM activities. Both men and women agreed that mining activities have impacts on other livelihood activities like food hawking and petty trading as well as health and environmental impacts. Both men and women generate income from ASM.
Key Words: Mining, Artisanal and Small-scale mining, Itesiwaju Local Government Area