Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) occurs in many countries around the world, and provides a
source of livelihood for many impoverished local population in areas where the mining occurs. This
paper reports the findings of a study that aimed at ascertaining the role of female miners and
reasons why they engage in ASM. Field visits were made to 12 ASM sites in the Tarkwa Mining District
located in the Western Region of Ghana to conduct interviews with miners, especially female
Results show that 24 women miners between the ages of 20 and 50 dig for survival. They
engage in ASM because they have no alternative employable skills and income. These female miners
depend on ASM to sustain the lives of their dependants.