Category Archives: ICSF

Latest ICSF Yemaya Newsletter Now Out

Tahira Shah leads a cultural rally in Hyderabad, Pakistan to celebrate World Fisheries Day on 21 November 2013. She spoke up against all forms of discrimination, based on gender, caste and religion and made other women also speak up against these. Source: Yemaya March 2015, ICSF. Photo by Mustafa Gurgaze.

Tahira Shah leads a cultural rally in Hyderabad, Pakistan to celebrate World Fisheries Day on 21 November 2013. She spoke up against all forms of discrimination, based on gender, caste and religion and made other women also speak up against these. Source: Yemaya March 2015, ICSF. Photo by Mustafa Gurgaze.

The latest issue of Yemaya, the newsletter on gender and fisheries put out three times a year by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, is full of interesting and thought-provoking articles, several centered around International Women’s Day and continuing struggles for decent lives and rights around the world.

The whole issue or individual articles may be downloaded.

Table of Contents

  1. From the Editor
  2. Long Live Women’s Day by Nilanjana Biswas
  3. Equal Work, Unequal Pay by Eduardo Ramírez Vera (see also this post on women in Chile))
  4. Milestones: Women 2000 by Ramya Rajagopalan
  5. A Right to Fish, A Fight to Live (Sunderabans) by Urvashi Sarkar
  6. What’s New Webby: The Role of Women in Fisheries (FAO, Susana Siar) by Nilanjana Biswas
  7. Profile: Farmers without borders Annie Castaldo—Shellfish farmer at the Laguna of Thau, France by Katia Frangoudes
  8. A Life of Truth and Struggle (Tahira Shah, Pakistan) by Mustafa Gurgaze
  9. Family Fish Farming, Bolivia (see also this post)
  10. Yemaya Mama (cartoon for International Women’s Day)
  11. Yemaya Recommends: Document “42 Portraits of Women Working in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sectors” (Femmes de Mer 42 Portraits. Un Livre De Michèle Villemur) by Brian O’Riordan

The Long Journey to Equality

Women weighing riverine fish catch, India. Photo: Lalit Tyagi.

Women weighing riverine fish catch, India. Photo: Lalit Tyagi.

We see some greater commitment to gender equality in policies and by institutions, but the position of women in mainstream and traditional value chains is still eroding despite new technologies accessible to women and new development approaches.

This was the conclusion of the full report of GAF5, the 5th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries. Based on presentations and discussions, the report explores five themes: (1) greater policy and institutional commitment to gender equality; (2) the eroding position of women in aquaculture and fisheries; (3) new technologies for women and new gender equality approaches; (4) diagnosing diversity and enabling action; and (5) GAF101, networks and GAF information.

Read the full report.

Still a long way to go

ICSF Katia

Katia Frangoudes explains a point on the relevance of the Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines to the audience during the ICSF panel discussion at GAF5.

The November 2014 edition of Samudra Report, the global periodical on fisheries issues published by the International in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), highlighted the 5th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF5) in its article “Still a Long Way to Go.”  The article, by Katia Frangoudes and Shuddhawati Peke, give an overview of GAF5, including the ICSF-led panel presentation and discussion on the relevance and opportunity for raising gender awareness and improving gender equality in the sector through the recent adoption and forthcoming implementation of the Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines.

Nalini Nayak at GAF5.

Nalini Nayak at GAF5.

At the end of their overview, Katia and Shuddhawati conclude that “there is still a long way to go in engendering fisheries and aquaculture, moving beyond merely sex-aggregated data and the sexual division of labour. A feminist perspective is much wider as it focuses on life and livelihood and thus challenges the present frameworks of centralized and capital-intensive production systems, which disregard the well-being of communities and the ecosystem.

Shuddhawati Peke presenting on the role and challenges faced by women fish vendors in Mumbai markets.

Shuddhawati Peke presenting on the role and challenges faced by women fish vendors in Mumbai markets.

The violence of such development has its toll, both in terms of an increase in violence on women in the household and on the living aquatic systems and their resources. Developing a theory of change is, therefore, necessary to assess how and what kind of modern science and management systems need to evolve to secure life and livelihoods”.

Report recommends integrating fish into food security and nutrition


HLPE-Report-7_Cover-smA new report, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition, has provided probably “the most comprehensive recent attempt to review and synthesize the current knowledge” said Dr Christophe Béné. Dr Béné, of the Institute of Development Studies, chaired the team of the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security that produced the report.

The report recommends that fish need to be fully integrated into all aspects of food security and nutrition policies and programmes. It pays special attention to all dimensions of food security and nutrition and promotes small-scale production and local arrangements, as local markets, e.g. for procuring school meals, and other policy tools, including nutrition education and gender equality.

The report is dedicated to Chandrika Sharma who was one of the peer reviewers of the report.

HLPE Team for fish, food security and nutrition report. Left to right: Gro-Ingunn Hemre, Modadugu V. Gupta, Moenieba Isaacs, Chris Béné, Meryl Williams, Ningsheng Yang and Vincent Gitz (Secretary)

HLPE Team for fish, food security and nutrition report. Left to right: Gro-Ingunn Hemre, Modadugu V. Gupta, Moenieba Isaacs, Chris Béné, Meryl Williams, Ningsheng Yang and Vincent Gitz (Secretary)

Download the report here

Extract of the FOREWORD by Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Chair of HLPE Steering Committee

This report addresses a frequently overlooked but extremely important part of world food and nutrition security: the role and importance of fish in seeking food and nutrition security for all. Fisheries and aquaculture have often been arbitrarily separated from other parts of the food and agricultural systems in food security studies, debates and policy-making. I applaud the Committee on World Food Security for its decision to bring fisheries and aquaculture fully into the debate about food and nutrition security.

The report presents a synthesis of existing evidence regarding the complex pathways between fisheries and aquaculture and food and nutrition security, including the environmental, economic and social dimensions, as well as issues related to governance. It provides insights on what needs to be done to achieve sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in order to strengthen their positive impact on food and nutrition security.

The ambition of this compact yet comprehensive report is to help the international community to share and understand the wide spectrum of issues that make fisheries and aquaculture such an important part of efforts to assure food security for all.

The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) was created in 2010 to provide the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security (CFS) with evidence-based and policy-oriented analysis to underpin policy debates and policy formulation. While specific policy interventions should be based on context-specific understanding, HLPE reports provide evidence relevant to the diversity of contexts, with recommendations aiming to be useful to guide context-specific policy interventions.

The main findings of the report cover the themes:

  • Fish as a critical food source
  • Fish has received little attention in food security and nutrition strategies
  • Risks and pressures affecting the world fisheries
  • Opportunities and challenges in aquaculture
  • Small vs large scale fishing operations
  • Unsettled debates on fish trade
  • Social protection and labour rights
  • Gender equity
  • Governance

In the Executive Summary, the report says the following on Gender Equity (paras 27-29; the body of the report contains more detail)

  • 27. The first comprehensive attempt to estimate the number of fish workers found that 56 million, near half of the 120 million people who work in the capture fisheries sector and its supply chains, are women. This is essentially due to the very high number of female workers engaged in fish processing (including in processing factories) and in (informal) small-scale fish trading operations. However, small-scale fisheries and supply-chain jobs outside production are not well recorded, so the actual number of women may be higher. Comparable estimates are not yet available for the 38 million aquaculture sector workers.
  • 28. Gender, along with intersectional factors (such as economic class, ethnic group, age or religion), is a key determinant of the many different ways by which fisheries and aquaculture affect food security and nutrition outcomes, availability, access, stability and diet adequacy, for the population groups directly involved in fish production and supply chains, but also beyond.
  • 29. Men are dominant in direct production work in fisheries and aquaculture. Much of women’s work, such as gleaning, diving, post-harvest processing and vending, is not recognized or not well recorded, despite its economic and other contributions. Gender disaggregated data are not routinely collected and, partly as a result of this, little policy attention is given to women and to the gender dimension of the sector.

In the Recommendations, item 7 addressed Gender Equity with the following recommendation (7)

States should

  • 7a) Ensure that their aquaculture and fisheries policies and interventions do not create negative impacts on women and encourage gender equality.
  • 7b) Enshrine gender equity in all fisheries rights systems, including licensing and access rights. The definitions of fishing must cover all forms of harvest including the forms typically practised by women and small-scale operators, such as inshore and inland harvesting of invertebrates by hand and the use of very small-scale gear.

Chandrika Sharma

 

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A recent photo of Chandrika Sharma, courtesy of Association Tunisienne pour le Developpement de la Pêche Artisanale.

With deep concern we report that Dr Chandrika Sharma, the Executive Secretary of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, is one of the passengers on the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 that went missing on early Saturday morning. Chandrika and ICSF are great stalwarts of the struggle for fishworkers rights including the rights of women throughout the sector.

Chandrika was on her way to represent ICSF at an FAO meeting in Mongolia.

To pass on your support to her family, her colleague, Ramya Rajagopalan, has kindly offered to pass on messages of support to her family [ramya.rajagopalan@gmail.com].

 

SPC WIF Info Bulletin: coastal fisheries, women’s fishing, climate change and gender in development

Photo: SPC-WIF 23

Photo: SPC-WIF 23

We welcome the latest edition of the Secretariat for the Pacific Community’s (SPC) 23rd Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin.  The Editor, Veikila Vuki highlights that the contributions covers gender roles in coastal fisheries, women’s fishing activities in communities, climate change and gender issues in development. Read the latest issue online!

CONTENTS
  • Gender and change in the spotlight: Researchers must engage with grassroots groups. Williams M.J. (pdf: 153 KB)
  • Moving the gender agenda forward in fisheries and aquaculture. Williams M.J., Porter M., Choo P.S., Kusakabe K., Vuki V., Gopal N., Bondad-Reantaso M.(pdf: 117 KB)
  • Gender assessment of the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project . Whitfield S. (pdf: 567 KB)
  • How men and women use their time in Tuvalu: A time use study. Bernard K. (pdf: 817 KB)
  • Gender roles in the seaweed industry cluster of the southern Philippines: The DICCEP experience. Bacaltos D.G., Revilla N.N., Castañaga R., Laguting M., Anguay G., Ang D., Caballero G., Omboy A., Efondo K.M., Flamiano-Garde G.(pdf: 107 KB)
  • Gender roles in the mangrove reforestation programmes in Barangay Talokgangan, Banate, Iloilo, Philippines: A case study where women have sustained the efforts. Bagsit F.U., Jimenez C.N. (pdf: 87 KB)
  • Strengthening livelihoods: A Vietnamese fisheries programme helps improve women’s roles and participation in fisheries decision-making. Lentisco A., Phuong Tao H.T. (pdf: 88 KB)
  • Net gains — YouTube is a sea of resources for documentaries on women in fisheries. Rajagopalan R. (pdf: 112 KB)
  • Chronicles of oblivion — A documentary film on female fishworkers from Odisha, India. Anon. (pdf: 128 KB)
  • Two leaflets promote careers for women and men in fisheries. Anon. (pdf: 87 KB)

Are fisheries activists and researchers afraid of being seen as Feminists?

There were 150 women members from CONAPACH at the International Congress of Women in Artisanal Fisheries held in Valparaiso, Chile from 5-7 June 2013. Photo: Yemaya July 2013, p. 6.

There were 150 women members from CONAPACH at the International Congress
of Women in Artisanal Fisheries held in Valparaiso, Chile from 5-7 June 2013. Photo: Yemaya July 2013, p. 6.

In the July 2013 edition of Yemaya, the gender and fisheries newsletter of the International Collective in Support of Small-scale Fishworkers (ICSF), the Editor, Nilanjana Biswas, pointed out that women fisheries activists were frequently afraid of being branded “feminists” because of the pejorative connotations of the term. And yes, she wrote,  “feminism is the ‘radical notion that women are people’, and so, have equal rights“. [See also our glossary explanation of the origins and use of the term feminism – http://genderaquafish.org/resources-3/glossary-of-terms/].

This observation about the resistance to being branded a feminist arose partly as an overall reaction to the challenges facing women in small-scale (and other) fisheries, but also directly from the Yemaya report, by Natalia Tavares de Azevedo and Naina Pierri, on the June 2013 International Congress on Women in Artisanal Fisheries. After this South and Central American event, Natalia and Naina wrote:

A striking point in the discussion was that the fisherwomen from Chile were keen to assert that they are not feminists, suggesting thus that feminism was something negative with which they do not want to be identified. This casting of feminism as reverse sexism, as an idea of “paying back with the same coin” or as putting women in a position of superiority and domination over men is, in our opinion, an unfortunate and common misconception, stemming from the lack of awareness of what feminism really is—the struggle for equal rights and for the end of unequal power relations between the sexes.

To read this and other articles in the July 2013 Yemaya, click here

An early fisheries (aquaculture) gender study that was not afraid to mention the word “feminist” was the Institute for Development Studies paper by Elizabeth Harrisson (1995), called “Fish and Feminists“, that explored the rather early forays into trying to address feminist ideals in fisheries projects. Here is the Summary of that report, which is an essential one to read if you are on the road to discovery in what gender in aquaculture and fisheries entails.

Summary:  Despite apparent acceptance of gender analysis within development organisations, this is still only rarely translated into gender-sensitive practice. The language of gender and development is adopted, but is accompanied by a subtle shift into ‘projects for women’. The article considers the problem through a case study of a programme in one international development organisation – the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The programme promotes small-scale fish farming in southern Africa, and gender issues have gained a high profile in its stated aims. The case study traces the articulation of gender issues from headquarters to a pilot project in Luapula Province, Zambia.

Download the IDS paper here