Pinky Mosiane was murdered at her place of work, the Anglo Platinum owned mine in South Africa. This article brings to light the context of that murder: one in which formal moves towards gender equality (the Mining Charter prescribing that 13% of employees should be women) have not been accompanied by changes in material conditions that ensure the safety of women (and indeed men) working in those environments. Sisonke Msimang writes:
although women are now being sent underground in greater numbers, nothing has been done to make mines safe spaces in which they can work free from sexual harassment and violence.
Women’s increased participation has been accompanied by informal practices (within problematic bonus structures which incentivise risk taking) in which women are treated as inferior workers and sexually exploited in exchange for their ‘share’ of the team bonuses:
In mines where women are part of underground teams, their male colleagues often resent their presence, suggesting that they are unable to mine as quickly. To meet team targets for production bonuses, a practice of bartering sex for bonuses and substitute labour has evolved. Essentially, female miners are coerced into stepping aside to enable their teams to meet the bonus targets. They receive a reduced share of the financial reward that goes to the team. Often, they are also forced to have sex with their colleagues in order to qualify to receive the bonus payments.
The judiciary have suggested that the rape and murder of women in mines is a ‘gender specific issue’, rather than a safety issue, and as such not a matter for investigation by the Chamber of Mines.