Habitus of Engagements, Gender and Cultural risk perceptions



Habitus of Engagements, Gender and Cultural risk perceptions
Women’s Health Risks in Bombana Gold Mining:
Habitus of Engagements, Gender and
Cultural risk perceptions
By. Fitrilailah Mokui
PHD Candidate, Medical Anthropology,
Culture, History and Language, RSAP
International Conference: “Between the
plough and the pick: Informal mining in
the contemporary world”
The Australian National University
Canberra 4th – 6th November, 2015
• Introduction
• Women’s identity
• Women’s health risks perceptions and
• Gendered cultural risk perceptions
• Conclusion
Copyright in works produced by CartoGIS, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, vests in The Australian National University
Copyright in works produced by CartoGIS, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, vests in The Australian National University
Copyright in works produced by CartoGIS, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, vests in The Australian National University
Aim: This paper focuses on women’s health; in particular, the aray of
health risks perceptions which is affected by female engagements in
gold mining in Bombana district. It also examines gender issues and
gendered cultural risks perception that women encounter in the mining
• To understand how women shape their identity in the Rau-rau mining village.
• To examine how female miners perceive, negotiate and manage gendered broader
health risks issues in mining sites.
• To study gender issues around female engagements (directly as laborers and
indirectly as providers of goods and services)
• To discuss gendered cultural health risk perceptions in mining society.
Ballard and Banks (2003, p.287) argued that study of risk in mining has been “under
researched and under-theorized”
The broader concept of gender aspect is an important aspects to be considered in the
risk study in order to give more deep understanding about the concept of women health
risk (Moffat & O'Malley, 2007).
Douglas and Wildavsky (1992) highlighted the incorporated gender aspects which is
considered as cultural aspects to understand risk perceptions in their cultural risk
Gendered risk perception is incorporating risk and gender, means that: “…the
identification of risks themselves is a complex gendered process, in which the
implementation of techniques to reduce one set of risks creates new gendered risks
whose implications outweigh those of the “original” risk” (Moffat & O'Malley, 2007, p. 22).
Introduction (Continued)
Limited studies of health impacts of female engagements in Artisanal and Small
Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) activities in Indonesia.
A local newspaper in Southeast Sulawesi reported that nine women out of 39 miners
died from accidents in Bombana ASGM (Travel Kompas, 2008), which strongly
implied that women in Bombana were participating in mining activities since the gold
was found in 2008 Bombana gold rush. Both local and migrant women engaged
directly and indirectly into gold mining activities.
Very little descriptive information about the number of female engagements in small
scale gold mining in Indonesia which is approximately 10% of the total 109,000 small
scale mining workers or around 10.900 women (Aspinal, 2011, p.14; Hentschel,
Hruschka, Priester, & GmbH, 2002, p.21).
Health & Cultural Risk perceptions theories
World Health Organization (2015) define determinants of health into three main
umbrellas: social, economic and physical environments, including a person’s
individual characteristics and behaviors and other factors, such as income and social
status, education, physical environment, social support services, genetics, health
services and gender.
The study of cultural theory of risk is looking at the broader socio cultural
environmental issues in the picture of individual choices (Douglas, 1966; Douglas and
Wildavsky, 19).
Risk studies need to consider culture in every step of risk analysis issues, such as
environment risks, public health risks and safety risks (Dake, 1992, p.21).
Gender theories
Gender is different from sex’s dichotomy (women and men) (Oakley 1972:9)
Two combined factors, including biology aspect and cultural aspects, would define
gender in society Errington (1990)
Gender includes broader issues of power and politics, economy, relationships of
social reproduction/sexuality (adult cathexis) and symbolism and ideology (Robinson,
Researchers in Southeast Asia Studies have to move from studying the position of
women or status of women to gender relations, which involves mapping gender
orders as “historically constructed pattern of power relations between men and
women, and importantly, it has constituent expressions of masculinity and femininity”
(Robinson, 2014:13)
Official residence status:
- Local resident women(Penduduk local perempuan)
- Incoming women resident or migrant women
(Penduduk pendatang perempuan )
Indigenity status:
- Moronene women(Perempuan asli Moronene)
- Not Indigenous Moronene (Bukan perempuan
asli Moronene)
Being women in the village:
Identity and habitus of life
Geographic location:
Women are recognized according to the hamlets
location and mining settlements (eq.hamlets). Ex.
Women who live in Tahi Ite called Perempuan
penduduk tahi Ite, Sawey, Polodu, ect
Mining engagement status:
Women miners (Perempuan penambang)
Women non miners (Bukan perempuan
Labor divisions: panning,
shaft diggers, etc
Exposure to the risk of
Mercury/”air raksa”:
know & Ignore, most
women do not know
Mode of
Direct/ labor: boss of
dompeng machine,
panning, marempel,
carry materials on the
Indirect/providers of
good and services: Gold
buyers, sembako stall
keeper, the cook, sex
workers, housewife,
mobile stall vendors,
administrative staff,
health officers.
Women health risks
in Bombana gold mining
Mobility & Habitus of life: family,
environment, geography, and legal
residence status
Local: returning home,
residence card/legal
living in the village,
mining act as
sustenance income,
Migrant: illegal activities
phobia, living in the poor
remote areas, mining
acts as main income,
high dependence to
others, intensively
contact with mining
sites, poor health service
because of illegality
Fecundity risks
Itchiness/skin diseases
Land collapse
Sun burn
Domestic violence
Reproductive health: STD,
HIV/AID pregnancy, early
Mental health illness
Health risks perception:
 Masculine and Feminine jobs: women choose lower risk
jobs: Being boss/highest class, panning/the lowest class, not
Dompeng machine staff, No trammel operator
 Greater autonomy & dependence define choice of risky
activities, decision making in the household.
Gendered Cultural health risks perception:
 Paternal cultural system factors: Women honor men to get
rich material & women wait for remnants materials
 Gendered taboo: Gender discrimination in taboo: young
women are not allowed in mining sites
 Gendered rezeki : Gender equality & equality:
If it is your rezeki, it does not view whether you
are men or women”.
Icah, local migrant women: a gold buyer, the capital of trust and Fecundity risks
Ibu Suri Cs: Panning, greater autonomy, Headache, Itchiness, land collapse
Ibu Suri: Paddy fields is her sustenance agriculture
Jumiati, viability of “boss” life: high economic risks and low health risks
Sunarti is a cook for a 7 men of a Dompeng group
Living in Blue tents: Migrant Miners settlements
Women engagements in blue tent mining sites
Body,Self and Femininity: “mabura”, clothes body and protecting the heads
Body,Self and Masculinity: tattoo, muddy and garmentless body, cigarettes
God is blessing tattooing people
Gendered taboo/Gender discrimination in taboo: young women are not allowed in the mining areas
Women shape their identity according to the official residence regulations, culture, mining
involvement, and geography.
Women miners came across health risks issues that they perceived to be skin diseases; death
and injuries from tunnel collapse; domestic violence consequences; and sun burn. However,
women did not perceive other issues such as mercury, various reproductive health issues
(pregnant miner, etc) to be health risks in the mining sites because of ignorance and lack of
information and knowledge about these issues.
Women health risks are determined by the mode of women engagements in mining including
habitus life of engagement, their legal and mobility status and gender factors.
Habitus of life between migrant and local women villagers, I argue is similar to mixing water and
oil; they exist in mining sites together but have vast differences in life outcomes when it comes to
family life, social life, environment, geography, access to public services and legality status in the
Issues of gendered health risks perceptions in mining community differ across women miners.
This is includes gendered taboo, gendered Islamic moral of rezeki and paternal cultural.
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