Women and Mineworkers'Struggle on the Zambian Copperbelt

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Bbole, Dandule
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This study on women's involvement in mineworkers struggles on the Copperbelt of Zambia during the colonial period was pursued in order to illuminate the contribution of women towards the struggle for better working and living conditions in the mine compounds. To achieve this, the study focused on the working and living conditions in the mine compounds, women's economic supplements, the meaning of the presence of women in the mine compounds to the struggle and their participation in collective action. The findings show that women contributed greatly towards the struggle for better living and working conditions in the mine compounds. This was because they were affected by the poor working and living conditions provided by mining companies for miners' families. The study found that women's coping strategies like sex selling and beer brewing hardened their character against the mining companies and that their mere presence in the mine compounds increased the miners' demands from the mining companies. Most of all, the findings revealed that women did not only participate in protest movements through co-operation, vigilance, boycotts and violence, but were also more aggressive than their husbands during collective action especially in 1952, 1954 and during the rolling strikes of 1955 and 1956.
Labor movement , Working class--Women--Zambia , Women's rights