Women’s perceived working conditions in the mining industry: A qualitative study

Masesi M. Mahlasela, Mankuku M. Madumo, Moreoagae B. Randa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Women’s status in society has been contested over the years, with arguments centred on the deliberate marginalisation of women by ancient policies and legislations, which compelled women to assume secondary status in society. Aim: This study aimed at exploring and describing the perceptions of women on working conditions in the mining industry. A qualitative, explorative and descriptive design was followed. Setting: The study was conducted at a mining industry based in Mpumalanga Province. Methods: Ten women were purposively selected to participate in the study. Data were collected through in-depth semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Data were analysed using Tech’s method of qualitative analysis. Results: Three themes and categories emerged from data analysis. The themes that emerged were: Benefits for women in the mining industry, work conditions-related challenges for women in the mining industry and opportunities for growth and development of women in the mining industry. Conclusion: Despite the employment of women in the mining industry, the women echoed that mining remains a male-dominated place of employment. Contribution: The study revealed that although the mining industry is still a male-dominated environment, women are generally content to be working at the mines. A lot of transformation should take place to make mining a women-friendly place of employment. The relevance of this study for mental health is that gender equality is a risk factor for gender-based violence. Furthermore, facing discrimination can also result in anxiety and psychological trauma that can negatively affect a woman’s sense of well-being and success.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera2212
JournalHealth SA Gesondheid
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • industry
  • mining
  • perceptions
  • women
  • working conditions
  • workplace


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