Australian Women in Mining: Still a Harsh Reality

  • Maryse Helbert


From the gold rush in the 1850s to hydraulic fracturing which began in the mid-2000s, Australian economic growth has been heavily dependent on its capacity to dig and extract natural resources for the world market. The Australian mining industry has produced social, environmental and economic contradictions. In this chapter, Helbert applies a materialist ecofeminist critique as a means of showing how the gender gap supports increased mining and its environmental problems and how the distribution of benefits of the mining industry is due to capitalist patriarchalism. She shows how capitalist accumulation in mining areas impacts upon and intersects with inequalities of class, gender, ethnicity, race and location. The locations Helbert considers in this chapter are the mining communities of the Bowen Basin and Century Mine in Queensland as well as Kalgoorlie, Pilbara, and Pembleton in Western Australia. She proposes that an ecofeminist ethics can help locate alternatives to correct the unequal distribution of the risks and benefits of mining projects between men and women in Australian communities.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryse Helbert
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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