Category Archives: ICSF

Yemaya releases 50th issue

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Women filleting in Petatán, Mexico. The sight of women filleting alone or in groups in their courtyards is a common one. Photo. Carmen Pedroza-Gutiérrez, in Yemaya 50, “Empowerment through filletting.”

Yemaya, the gender and fisheries newsletter of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) has published its 50th newsletter. As usual, Yemaya is an excellent read from its varied and thoughtful articles, to the wry Yemaya Mama cartoons, to reviews and news.

The contents in this December 2015 edition are:

  1. Editorial by Nilanjana Biswas
  2. Analysis: Trade. “Women in today’s fisheries economy” by Meryl Williams
  3. Asia: Sri Lanka. “Widows’ struggles in post-war Sri Lanka” by Cornelie Quist
  4. What’s new Webby? Gendered Seas
  5. Africa: South Africa. “The long road to freedom” by Sharon Groenmeyer
  6. Regional: Africa. “Women in fisheries in Africa” by Serge Raemaekers & Jackie Sunde
  7. Through the years with Yemaya Mama
  8. Asia: India “Hard days and nights” by Ellen Thorell
  9. Profile. “Defending a way of life” by Sara García, Fisherwoman from Costa Rica
  10. Regional: Central America. “Women in Central America’s fisheries” by Vivienne Solis Rivera
  11. Regional: Asia. “Half the fishers in the world” by Nikita Gopal
  12. Milestones by Ramya Rajagopalan
  13. Latin America: Mexico. “Empowerment through filleting” by Carmen Pedroza-Gutiérrez
  14. Q&A. Interview of Kholiswa Fosana, Eastern Cape, South Africa, by Jackie Sunde
  15. Yemaya Mama cops out of COP21
  16. Book Review. “Our Mother Ocean: Enclosure, Commons,
    and the Global Fishermen’s Movement” by Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Monica Chilese. Review by Nilanjana Biswas

 

 

Fishing out the Invisible

Women collecting oysters cultivated in the Qualidia Lagoon, Morocco. Photo: Giuseppe Bizzari, FAO.

Women collecting oysters cultivated in the Qualidia Lagoon, Morocco. Photo: Giuseppe Bizzari, FAO.

In the August 2015 issue of Samudra Report, the journal of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, Marie Christine Monfort describes her expedition to “fish out” what was happening for women in the fish sector. She also provides an abridged version of the recent Globefish Report, “The Role of Women in the Seafood Industry” (see our story) that was the result of her fishing expedition.

The Samudra Report article, “Fishing out the Invisible“, provides a good account of the search for facts on women’s roles and contributions, and their status in fisheries and aquaculture supply chains. It also reports on recent activities to address gender in the sector, including the work of the Asian Fisheries Society group that produces this website. Most seriously, given the economic factors that drive the fish sector and the importance of the private sector, Marie Christine could not find one private sector initiative on women’s empowerment or a corporate program that was directed at helping women.

Read the Samudra Report article here.

Yemaya highlights how changes in fish trade affect the lives and labour of women

The Boring Road Crossing fish market in Patna, India. The number of women fish vendors has declined substantially. Photo: Bibha Kumar, from Yemaya 49 p. 5.

The Boring Road Crossing fish market in Patna, India. The number of women fish vendors has declined substantially. Photo: Bibha Kumar, from Yemaya 49 p. 5.

The July 2015 issue of Yemaya (from the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers) highlights the experiences of women in fish trade and support industries.  The editor, Nilanjana Biswas, concludes that the evidence is that women are being ‘ousted from local markets’, typically ending up in more dangerous, less lucrative substandard sites.

Read the Editorial and stories.

  • Perched on the brink of survival by Modesta Medard (Tanzania)
  • Receding waters, vanishing trades by Bibha Kumar (India)
  • Banking on closure by Lorna Slade (Tanzania)
  • Guatemala’s comprehensive policy on gender equality by Ramya Rajagopalan
  • A couple of champions! by Cornelia Quist (Netherlands)
  • Profile: Fisher of the year – Anna Ramirez (Bolivia)
  • Making women matter by Nilanjana Biswas
  • Q & A Interview with Lakshmi Murthy, seaweed harvester Tamil Nadu
  • Yemaya recommends: Globefish report “Role of Women in the Seafood Industry”
  • Plus Yemaya Mama (cartoon, What’s new Webby?

Download the whole issue or any individial article at here.

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.