Being a woman in the small-scale and artisanal mining industry
Women's work in the Bolivian mining industry is a reality that in recent years has taken on significant dimensions that need visibility
72% do not have access to sewage systems, so infectious stomach diseases are among the leading causes of death for women
María Flor Soto
“The hardest thing to do in the barranquilleo is to stay healthy”
Alluvial mining, which consists of retrieving gold around watercourses using artisanal methods, is called barranquilleo in Bolivia. Barranquilleo is the primary economic support for thousands of people like María Flor.
“When I used to get out of the river all wet, my fellows would tell me to change my clothing, but I would refuse because the dressing rooms are not safe at all.``
Thus, those who engage in this job quickly catch respiratory diseases because they leave the river with wet clothes.
Also, one of the main safety risks is related to the dredging (removal) of the wet soil when coming to rocks that detach. 72% also do not have access to sewage systems, so infectious stomach diseases are among the leading causes of death for women.
Mirian Calla Gómez
“My regular workday is complicated”
The concept of a double working day is a self-perception of women miners related to the multiple functions they perform as homemakers (cooking, cleaning, childcare) and the simultaneous execution of their mining work.