Main Article Content
Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is increasingly the focus of the national efforts to effectively regulate the sector as an initiative to ameliorate national benefits by increasing women participation in the sector while seeking to address challenges that they face. Despite women's participation in the ASM sector being estimated at nearly 50% in the mining areas, their significant participation has largely been overlooked. Therefore, this study aimed at evaluating the level of women participation in the ASM industry as a result of the legal framework undertaken in the mining sector and provide appropriate policy and legislative recommendations for future benefits of women. To achieve this, the study used data from a cross-sectional survey of 215 women working at different nodes of the ASM sector in Taita Taveta County. Descriptive statistics, linear regression and Probit regression model were employed in data analysis. The descriptive statistics reveal that most women who participate in ASM business are the main breadwinners in their households; therefore, ASM business plays an important role in their livelihoods. On average, women spend more than eight hours in a day working in the ASM activities. However, their operations are mainly relegated to subordinate roles of less paying jobs with only a few lucky women working in the mines as traders or owners of the mining sectors. The linear regression results indicated that there was a positive correlation between women participation in the ASM and legal framework at 1% level of significance. The study therefore, recommends policy frameworksthat facilitate easy access to mining licenses by women in the ASM sector and encourage and sensitize women to take up leadership positions to ensure that their voices counts on the decision table.