Category Archives: ICSF

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

 

Yemaya 40 focuses on GAF outcomes from Rio+20

The latest issue of “Yemaya”, the gender and fisheries newsletter of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, has just been released, containing materials on global initiatives (Rio+20, FAO’s Committee on

Clan elder, Magesa Lubumbika from Lugata village (Kome Island) performing fishing rituals in honour of his grandson. Photo: Modesta Medard, in Yemaya 40 p. 7.

Fisheries work and CEDAW), and special reports on gender dimensions of fisheries in Africa (Gambia, Senegal, Tanzania), and profiles of leaders from Indonesia and Brazil. 

Download articles or the whole issue at Yemaya 40

  • Rio+20 – Is this the Future We Want? Analysis, Online Resources and Yemaya Mama looks for sustainable development in Rio!
  • Gambia: Building Capacity, Managing Change
  • Profile: Never Say Die - Masnu’ah, women’s group leader in Indonesia
  • Loss of Inheritance: consequences of changes in Lake Victoria fisheries, Tanzania
  • CEDAW turns 30!
  • Promoting Gender Equity – summaries of CSO proposals as part of FAO small-scale fisheries processes
  •  Brazil fisherwomen: Naina Pierri interviews Cleonice Silva Nascimento
  • Review: “An Evaluation of the Roles of Women in Fishing Communities of Dakar, the La Petite Côte, and Sine Saloum,” Senegal

Three new ICSF reports tackle Climate Change, MPAs and Small Scale Fisheries in India

Seaweed harvesters, Bharathinagar, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: Shilpi Sharma (courtesy of ICSF)

Climate Change and Fisheries: Perspectives from Small-scale Fishing Communities in India on Measures to Protect Life and Livelihood

by Venkatesh Salagrama,

Through consultations with key fisheries-based stakeholders in four States of India, this study attempts to assess perceptions of fishing communities about the impact of climate change on their lives and livelihoods. It also evaluates the traditional knowledge, institutions and practices of fishing communities that are relevant to climate-change preparedness. The study identifies adaptation and mitigation measures that may need to be adopted by fishing communities and the State in relation to climate change. Based on this overall analysis, the study proposes measures to protect the lives and livelihoods of small-scale fishing communities in the context of climate change policies and programmes at different levels.

Download report: http://www.icsf.net/en/monographs/article/EN/121-perspectives-fr.html?limitstart=0

MPA Workshop Proceedings 2012: Fishery-dependent Livelihoods, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity: The Case of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas in India.

The lacunae in fishing-community engagement in the management and governance of marine and coastal protected areas (MCPAs) were discussed in the 2009 Chennai Workshop organized by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF). To continue the discussion, a second, two-day workshop to review existing legal and institutional mechanisms for implemention and monitoring of MCPAs, titled ‘Fishery-dependent Livelihoods, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity: The Case of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas in India’, was held in New Delhi during 1-2 March 2012.

The objective was to understand the impact of MCPAs on fishing communities, from an environmental-justice and human-rights perspective, and make specific proposals for better conservation while securing the livelihoods of small-scale fishers. The workshop also served to underscore these issues in light of the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held at Hyderabad in October 2012.This publication contains the prospectus of the workshop and a report of the proceedings.

Download report:  http://www.icsf.net/en/proceedings/article/EN/120-fishery-depende.html?limitstart=0

Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries: Towards FAO Guidelines on Marine and Inland Small-scale Fisheries: Workshop and Symposium

 The workshop and symposium titled “Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries: Towards FAO Guidelines on Marine and Inland Small-scale Fisheries” was jointly organized by the National Fishworkers’Forum (NFF) and the Society for Direct Initiative for Social and Health Action (DISHA),in collaboration with the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF).

The workshop was the first in a series of consultations around the world organized to discuss the Voluntary Guidelines on Small-scale Fisheries (VGSSF) and propose measures, keeping in mind the interests and concerns of small-scale fisheries and fishing communities. The workshop was also a forum to make the role of small-scale fisheries and fishworkers more visible in the context of food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable use of fishery resources. The workshop had 62 participants from both the marine and inland sectors, representing 10 States of India. The participants included fishworkers, representatives of fishworker organizations, policymakers and representatives of multilateral organizations. The workshop was structured to facilitate active interaction and discussion among participants, taking into account  linguistic diversity and the contextual differences of the marine and inland sectors.

Dowload report: http://www.icsf.net/en/reports/article/EN/14-workshop-and-sy.html?limitstart=0

ICSF Yemaya March 2012 now online

Vera Francis, Passamaquoddy tribal leader, Maine, USA. Photo Yemaya

Download the latest Yemaya

or go to the website for individual articles and versions in French, Spanish and Portuguese

  • EDITORIAL
  • North America/US Exercising Sovereignty on the Sea
  • Africa/South Africa Facing Change with Courage
  • Asia/India Pulicat’s Padu System
  • South America/Chile Mapuche: People of the Land and Sea
  • Document/Statement Women’s Organizations Question UN CSW Yemaya Recommends
  • Review World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development
  •  What’s New, Webby? The UN System: Working Together to Empower Rural
  •  Women Profile Nalia Fedrix: Proud to be Born on the Coast
  • Milestones Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure
  • Q & A Interview with María Hernández Rojas
  • Yemaya Mama “Women’s Day Special!”

Research on women in fisheries: the era of political ecology

Women fish vendors. Source: IFAD

In her 2011 papers, Nilanjana Biswas, an independent researcher from India, argued that research on women and fisheries had shifted, over the decades, from a ‘political economy’ approach to a ‘political ecology’ approach. Along with this, fisheries development assistance and general development assistance has shifted to align efforts with those of countries to become more industry (capital) friendly. She challenges the development assistance community to look beyond the framework of capital. Although not providing a way forward, Dr Biswas raises the most challenging issues facing those concerned with women’s positions, and especially their frequent exploitation in the sector as it has rapidly industrialized.

Two recent papers, one on Ecuador shrimp farming and mangroves and the other on a Tanzanian fishery, illustrate the political ecology approaches. An important paper, from 2004, also has took a feminist political economy approach. In it, Dean Bavington, Brenda Grzetic and Barbara Neis studied the ‘fishing down’ of Labrador and Newfoundland fisheries (see below).

1. Dr Nilanhana Biswas study – “Turning the Tide”

You can find different versions of Dr Biswas’s work in the following places:

A. Biswas, Nilanjana. 2011. Turning the tide: Women’s lives in the fisheries and the assault of capital. Occasional Paper. Chennai, ICSF. 41p.

http://www.icsf.net/en/occasional-papers/article/EN/112-Women/’s-lives-i.html

B. Turning the Tide: Women’s Lives in Fisheries and the Assault of Capital In Economic and Political Weekly:  http://www.epw.in/special-articles/turning-tide-womens-lives-fisheries-and-assault-capital.html

Abstract: Over the years, research on women in the fisheries moved from a framework of political economy to a framework of political ecology. This meant that analyses shifted away from labour, production relations and surplus value extraction typically grounded in Marxian modes of analysis, in favour of those focused on environmental sustainability, livelihood sustainability and a discourse on poverty. During this period, women’s labour has been mobilised at an unprecedented scale and concentrated in the most exploitative jobs to fuel economic growth in fisheries. Even as industrial fisheries thrive on the labour of poor women, new analyses and new forms of organising are needed to fundamentally challenge this exploitation. Capital cannot be left unfettered to do as it pleases, but must be forced through stringent regulation to heed other considerations apart from profitability alone. Donor aid is, however, driving the non-governmental organisation increasingly towards conciliatory, mediatory roles, incapable of seeking solutions outside the framework of capital.

C. Yemaya Turning the Tide:

Part 1 (July 2011):

http://icsf.net/icsf2006/uploads/publications/yemaya/pdf/english/issue_37/art06.pdf

Part 2 (Nov 2011):

http://icsf.net/icsf2006/uploads/publications/yemaya/pdf/english/issue_38/art05.pdf

2. Accumulation by dispossession in coastal Ecuador: Shrimp farming, local resistance and the gender structure of mobilizations

By Sandra Veuthey, Julien-Francois Gerber

Author’s address: sandra_veuthey@hotmail.comSandra.Veuthey@uab.es

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378011001634

ABSTRACT: Over the last two decades, the global production of farm-raised shrimps has increased at a faster rate than any other aquacultural product, leading to massive socio-ecological damages in the mangrove areas where shrimp farming often takes place. Consequently, an increasing number of conflicts pitting coastal populations against shrimp farmers has been reported although very few conflicts have been studied in detail. This article contributes to fill this research gap by analyzing the causes, development and consequences of one such conflict in the Ecuadorian canton of Muisne (province of Esmeraldas). This conflict is one of the world’s earliest and most important protest movements for the defence of mangroves and against the shrimp industry. Within a political ecology perspective, we connect three key dimensions of the conflict: (1) the socioeconomic metabolism of shrimp farming locally and internationally, (2) the institutions – formal and informal – that regulate the access to mangroves, and (3) the development of the mobilization itself, with special reference to the role of local women. The study is based on six-month fieldwork and combines data from 52 in-depth interviews of a wide range of actors, various documentation, and direct and participant observation. We find that the development of shrimp farming can be understood as a modern case of enclosure movement whereby customary community mangroves are privatized for the building of shrimp ponds. As a result, local mangrove- dependant populations – especially women – mobilized with the support of a grassroots Environmental Justice Organization. The protest was targeted at a form of ecologically unequal exchange where sectors of the global North shift socio-ecological costs onto poor sectors of the producing regions of the global South. In agreement with feminist political ecology, local women were particularly resistant to this process of ‘accumulation by dispossession’. While only some mangroves could be saved or reforested as a result of the movement, women’s mobilization has had the unexpected effect of challenging gender relations in their communities. This research articulates dimensions of a given conflict that are too often considered separately, namely social-metabolic issues, institutional change, and gender issues. This allows a more comprehensive view of a complex power struggle.

3. Income diversification, social capital and their potential role in uptake of marine Payments for Environmental Services schemes: a study from a Tanzanian fishing community

By Rhona F Barr, Salvatore Di Falco & Susana Mourato

http://www2.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/publications/WorkingPapers/Working%20Papers/60-69/WP65_environmental-services-tanzania.pdf

The gender dimension in this paper is that women the study area, Mtwara region, who use hand-held and small scale gear, are less involved in reciprocal fishery dependent networks and so more likely than men to take up PES offers.

Abstract: We analyse the role of risk mitigating strategies upon the willingness to adopt a marine PES scheme in fishing households. More specifically we focus on the role income diversification and social capital can play. We find that income diversification and three social capital variables (trust, group membership and presence within a reciprocal fishing dependency network) emerged as significant predictors of willingness to adopt a proposed marine PES scheme. Results are, however, qualitatively different. Group membership and the presence of alternative income sources increased fisher willingness to participate within the proposed PES scheme. Trust was found to have a larger incremental influence on willingness to participate within those villages located outside of the park boundary. However, ‘presence within a reciprocal fishing dependency network‘ showed a negative correlation with willingness to participate. This reciprocal dependency relationship therefore appears to lock fishers in to their current status quo and dissuade participation in the PES scheme. We offer some explanations of the possible underlying mechanism behind this result. The results presented have valuable policy implications for those PES schemes which hope to target poor households.

4. The Feminist Political Ecology of Fishing Down: Reflections from Newfoundland and Labrador

By Dean Bavington, Brenda Grzetic, Barbara Neis Studies in Political Economy, Vol 73, 2004.

http://spe.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/spe/article/view/5750/2646

Concluding para: Often ecological science universalizes the experiences of women and men and promotes a highly simplified view of social reality and political economy that makes human activities appear simple and amenable to managerial control. If biologically sustainable and socially just arrangements in the fishery are to be achieved, we believe that the complex ideas developing in the science of ecology need to be balanced by sufficiently nuanced insights from political ecology and feminist political ecology that present an equally complex picture of social relations. As the case of fishing down in Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries shows, gender, race, and class relations characterize fisheries policies and fisheries science at both ideological and material levels. Women in fishery-dependent communities, including those who fish, have been marginal and invisible, struggling for some degree of influence over policy and the nature and dynamics of human interactions with each other and marine ecosystems. The implications of their exclusion are wide ranging and include gendered social, economic, and health effects associated with fishing down, as well as the loss of insight into creative opportunities for ecosystem recovery and protection.

In Yemaya 36: Gender and power relations in small-scale fisheries

OLIVIER BARBAROUX

The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) has just released the latest edition of its triannual newsletter on gender and fisheries, Yemaya. Yemaya No. 36, dated March 2011, carries several articles from around the world on women in fisheries, and how gender and power relations play out in small-scale fisheries.

A report on a recent public hearing in Europe shows how women in fisheries are fast gaining public visibility. Another from Chile cites archaeological evidence to confirm that inhabitants of the Chiloe archipelago used sea-plants for food and medicine, which, as demonstrated at a workshop, could be usefully employed today by the women of fishing families.

Another article in Yemaya No. 36 recounts the journey of the Asian Fisheries Society in making gender and fisheries a priority concern (see ‘From the margins to the mainstream.’) Genderaquaqfish is featured in What’s new, Webby?

The landmark decision on small-scale fisheries taken by the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at its 29th Session is detailed in another piece in the current issue of Yemaya.

Reviews in Yemaya No. 36 include one on a new field handbook developed by the Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia, which highlights the contribution of women, and another on the gender dimensions of agricultural and rural employment.

Apart from an interview with with Solene Smith, a leader of Coastal Links, Langebaan, South Africa, the current issue includes the regular sections, like website recommendations and the ever-popular cartoon strip, Yemaya Mama.

Yemaya No. 36 can be downloaded for free, either as individual articles or in toto, at
http://www.icsf.net/SU/Yem/EN/36

ICSF releases latest issue of Yemaya, women-in-fisheries newsletter

The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) has released the latest issue of “Yemaya”, the unique newsletter that focuses on issues relating to gender and women in fisheries all around the world. The current issue, Yemaya No. 35, dated November 2010, is available for free download at http://www.icsf.net/SU/Yem/EN/35 The issue features articles from Ecuador, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Mauritania and India. Also featured are news on websites and UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and empowerment of women. The issue also has a profile of a Pakistani fisherwoman leader and an interview with a Brazilian fisherwoman leader. Besides a review of a video film, Yemaya No. 35 also carries the popular cartoon strip, Yemaya Mama. ICSF is an international non-governmental organization that works towards the establishment of equitable, gender-just, self-reliant and sustainable fisheries, particularly in the small-scale, artisanal sector. For more, please visit http://www.icsf.net