Maetala, R., Naved, R., Schwarz, A., and Kantor, P. (2012). CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems. Penang, Malaysia. Working Paper: AAS-2012-21.
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By Rosario H. Asong, PhD and Anna Razel Ramirez
of The National Network on Women in Fisheries in the Philippines, Inc.
NNWFP Holds 6th Biennial National Conference
The National Network on Women in Fisheries in the Philippines, Inc. held its 6th Biennial National Conference on Gender and Fisheries on September 19-21, 2012 at Hotel Alejandro, Tacloban City in Leyte, an island in Eastern Visayas, Philippines with the theme: “Women Fishers in a Changing Global Seascape and Landscape. 123 participants (111 females and 12 males) from all over the Philippines attended the conference.
For Day 1, Dr. Esmeralda Paz D. Manalang, BFAR IV-A Regional Director delivered the keynote address on behalf of Atty. Asis G. Perez, BFAR Director. Director Asis emphasized that “BFAR, as the primary government agency responsible for the management, development, improvement, and conservation of the country’s fisheries and aquatic resources, has been very active in its gender and development initiatives toward the attainment of sustainable, equitable and gender-just fisheries.” He said that BFAR has developed “gender and development (GAD) checklists for fisheries on CRM; and conducts research, training, and livelihood and field visits of project sites of women’s groups/fisherfolk organizations.” Through these activities, BFAR aims “to conduct participatory resource assessment, consultations with clients and gathering of relevant information/data as inputs to the checklists and ultimately, publication of the checklists and the GAD handbook”, he added. Perez also mentioned the agency’s plan to conduct of socio-economic survey and social research to look into the conditions and contributions of women in the small-scale and artisanal fisheries and fishing communities and gauge the impact of fisheries conservation and resource management on the lives and livelihood of fishing communities; to revise the fisherfolk’s registration form to capture socio-economic positions including women’s and men’s roles and interest in the value chain of the sector; to organize fisherfolk women organizations; and to empower women through conduct of training on IEC activities, value formation for both men and women, planning and operation of fishing activities including the use of environment-friendly and women-friendly fishing gears; etc.; and to pilot women-managed fishing areas. “Experience has shown that women/gender issues are invincible to many in the fisheries sector and advocacy is required to raise the profile of gender. Credible, dedicated and persistent champions are needed. One initial target of action is to bring about policy changes to engender aquaculture and fisheries because, without this, the mandate and platform for gender focus is lacking,” he finished
Philip Jude Acidre, Deputy Director of An Waray Party List also addressed the conference participants and stressed the importance of women in the sector of the fisheries and said, “… if we look closely at the fishery value chain – from the production or actual fishing to the processing stage and finally to the marketing stage, women have played a silent yet important role. While it may be true that majority of actual fishers are men, many of those working in the processing and marketing of fish products are actually women… while the typical fisherman is always stereotyped as male, the fishery industry is not complete without the countless and often unnoticed women workers who work as fish dryers, fish product processors, the fish vendors and fish peddlers. But much of the work that women contribute towards the fishery sector is often ignored and not recognized.“ He also encouraged the participants to take inspiration from the stories of women in fisheries, especially in their capacity to hope in the midst of growing adversity. “
Plenary lectures delivered were “Challenges and Opportunities forImplementing an Effective Gender Strategy” by Dr. Maripaz L. Perez, Regional Director for Asia & Phil Country Manager, World Fish Center; “The Women Fishers of Eastern Samar: Coping with the Changing Environment” by Prof. Margarita de la Cruz , Dean of UPV Tacloban College and “Women Administrators in Fisheries: Making a Difference”by RD Drusila Esther Bayate, Regional Director, BFAR VI
Papers presented were categorized into four strands: The papers for Strand 1:Life Narratives of Women: From the Reef to Inland Fisheries Communities were “Gender Roles in the Mangrove Reforestation Programmes in Brgy. Talokgangan, Banate, Iloilo Philippines: A Case Study where Women have Sustained the Efforts (best paper) byFarisal U.Bagsit and Caridad N. Jimenez, UP Visayas; Meat for Fish: Metamorphosizing Prostitution in Navotas by Antonio C. Galang Jr.,Miah Maye M. Pormon and Ruth Edisel Rylle B. Sadian of UP Tacloban College; 3Ps of Women Fish Dealers at Sagkahan Shed Area, Tacloban City by Anita Cular,Ph.D., UPV Tacloban College; Seeing through the Pudpod in Four, Seven or Forty Seven Years:The Story of Three Women Micro-entrepreneurs (best paper and best presentation) byMarieta Banez-Sumagaysay, Ph.D., UPV Tacloban College and Mainstreaming Gender in Philippine Institutions: Some Implications for Women in Fisheries Mary Barby P. Badayos-Jover,Ph.D., UP Visayas. Strand 2: Challenging the Environment had one paper “Escherichia coli a Pathogenic Bacterium Isolated from Framed Oysters Crassostrea iredalei and as Potential Hazards during Bivalve Molluscs Consumption by Dr. Dennis K. Gomez, Shiela P. Aguhob, Jenny Ann A.Santos &Sherry Mae J. Asdullo Iloilo State College of Fisheries. Strand 4: Creative and Survival Techniques also had one paper “Effect of Vacuum Packaging on Keeping Quality of Hot-Processed Smoked-Flavored Milkfish (Chanos chanos) by Myrna C. Bigueja, Luisa M. Lanciso, Christine C. Bigueja and Cedocia Oco of PartidoStateUniversity.
An open forum followed the paper presentations.
Researched-based posters were also displayed. These were the following “Preliminary Survey on Women’s Involvement in Small Scale Sea Cucumber FisheryIn Batad, Iloilo by Perry A. Alpasan and Rommy A. Billones, of Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (best poster) ; Samahan ng mga Maybahay ng mga Mangingitang of Rhodora R. Agapay, Municipal Agriculture Office, Nasugbu Batangas and Women’s Role in Beating the Global Challenge by Raul Millana of Region XI Davao City
A General Assembly, business meeting and election of officers were held. A new set of Board of Trustees were elected and from among these the set of officers of Winfish for 2012-2014 are the following: RD Esmeralda Paz Manalang, President;RD Justerie Granali, Vice President; Dr. Marieta B. Magsaysay, Secretary; ARD Asuncion Maputol, Treasurer; Ms. Remia Aparri, Auditor; Ms. Judith Rojas, Membership; Ms. Teresita A. Padilla, Research; Dr. Ida ML Siason,Linkage; Representatives: Ms Chloe S. Taripe (Luzon); ARD Lina Palobe (Visayas); Ms Erlinda M. Puy (Mindanao), andDr. Diana S. Aure, Immediate Past Presidentex officio member.
On the third day, participants had an exposure trip organized by WINFISH Eastern Visayas Cluster cruising along the river of San Juanico bridge to a mariculture area as well livelihood activities of Masinop na Kababaihan ng Gintigian, a women’s organization in Samar.
Over the last several months, studies, blogs and news articles have highlighted the challenges of assessing and understanding the various impacts of microfinance. Although not directly addressing fisheries and aquaculture, the findings are relevant to those studying gender in aquaculture and fisheries as microfinance is often part of a development initiative targeted at women in small scale fisheries and aquaculture. For those with an interest in microfinance, here are some of the recent items and related papers from GAF2 and GAF3.
1. Microfinance’s Sober Reckoning from the Guardian, and the two recent reports it refers to.
Download at: http://blogs.cgdev.org/open_book/2011/08/the-new-realism.php Center for Global Development
Download at: http://www.dfid.gov.uk/r4d/.pdf
[Duvendack M, Palmer-Jones R, Copestake JG, Hooper L, Loke Y, Rao N (2011) What is the evidence of the impact of microfinance on the well-being of poor people? London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London].
2. Science magazine, June 2011
Summary. Roughly one-half of the world’s adults, about 2.5 billion people, have neither a bank account nor access to semiformal financial services such as “microcredit,” the growing practice in developing nations of providing small loans, typically less than US$500, to self-employed people (1). But what if they did? Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank, a pioneering microcredit institution, argues that this lack of financial access means that the poor, especially poor women, can’t obtain the loans they need to build their businesses and get on a path out of poverty. The idea has taken hold: In 2009, for instance, Grameen Bank served 8 million customers; its average loan balance was just $127. Worldwide, microcredit advocates now claim more than 190 million customers. Proof of concept, however, is not proof of impact. Recent studies have found that some efforts to provide small loans have produced surprisingly weak results, and on page 1278 of this issue, Karlan and Zinman provide more evidence that we need to rethink microcredit. Their findings, from a randomized evaluation of microcredit lending in the Philippines, add to a handful of recent results that suggest that microcredit’s effectiveness has been overstated by studies that selectively focus on success stories.
Abstract: Microcredit institutions spend billions of dollars fighting poverty by making small loans primarily to female entrepreneurs. Proponents argue that microcredit mitigates market failures, spurs micro-enterprise growth, and boosts borrowers’ well-being. We tested these hypotheses with the use of an innovative, replicable experimental design that randomly assigned individual liability microloans (of $225 on average) to 1601 individuals in the Philippines through credit scoring. After 11 to 22 months, we found evidence consistent with unmet demand at the current price (a roughly 60% annualized interest rate): Net borrowing increased in the treatment group relative to controls. However, the number of business activities and employees in the treatment group decreased relative to controls, and subjective well-being declined slightly. We also found little evidence that treatment effects were more pronounced for women. However, we did find that microloans increase ability to cope with risk, strengthen community ties, and increase access to informal credit. Thus, microcredit here may work, but through channels different from those often hypothesized by its proponents.
3. Asian Fisheries Society GAF Symposia
Three papers on microfinance have been presented at the last two GAF Symposia (GAF2 2007 and GAF3 2011)
From the GAF2 Summary: A form of marginalization is when access to a range of desired financial services, including credit and insurance, is poor. Arpita Sharma profiled the social and economic status of 4 types of women fish workers in Dakshinda Kannada district of Karnataka state,India– dry and wet fish retailers and laborers – and their small scale financial services needs. Self Help Groups (SHGs), non-government organizations and national banks were productive, especially in their service focus areas of credit and savings. However, only 40% of women are in SHGs, and more could benefit from forming or joining groups. Most significantly, women expressed strong needs for additional services, especially services designed for micro-enterprise development, insurance, remittances, and microfinance for housing and shelter. While agreeing with the better design of microfinance services to meet women’s need, the Symposium participants also pointed out that very little attention is being given to men’s microfinance needs.
[R. Veena and Arpita Sharma* Micro Finance in the Fisheries Sector: A case study of Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka. PPT ]
From GAF3 Summary: For poor households, microfinance has become a popular though increasingly questioned solution. It is often targeted at women even if the gender dimensions are rarely studied. Two presentations at GAF3 showed that microfinance, while well regarded by the recipients, usually does not increase their assets and productivity. In 2 districts of Kerala, India, Nikita Gopal reported that government and non-government run microfinance schemes had helped family finances and improved household financial decision-making in low-income families but, since most of the funds had gone into meeting household expenses and not into entrepreneurial opportunities, asset creation had been minimal. In Guimaras, Philippines, Alice J. G. Ferrer found similar results when she studied women and men in fishing and non-fishing households. The decision to seek credit was typically taken jointly by the wife and husband but women then sought the majority of credit, mainly from informal sources. The credit, however, fed consumption rather than production and hence failed to improve productivity or living standards. Both studies stressed the importance of examining all sources of credit and better understanding the need for credit.
[Nikita Gopal and B. Meenakumari Role and impact of microfinance institutions in coastal communities. PPT]
[Alice Joan G. Ferrer and Arthur P. Barrido. Gender and credit market participation and access among households in coastal barangays in Guimaras, Philippines. PPT]
Research agencies are very important social institutions in fisheries and aquaculture. Over the decades, their knowledge continues to grow and multiply, enriched through partnerships, outreach and synergies between existing and new ideas. The electronic information era creates new opportunities to make agency knowledge more accessible through creating institute repositories. In the last year, two major research agencies have made their publications available through new institute repositories.
1. Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/. Loaded with scans of publications going back to 1948, and up to the present, you can search the more than 8,000 papers by year, author, subject, document type or division. The collection is also indexed in many of the main academic services, including Scientific Commons, Scirus and Google.
2. SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department. http://repository.seafdec.org.ph/ With hundreds of papers, books, handbooks, extension manuals, articles and newsletter items reaching back to 1978, this collection is also readily searchable and will be further augmented by pictures, videos, presentations and other products.
In its first newsletter, (6 May 2011), RFLP featured its particiaption at GAF3. the Newsletter noted: RFLP ‘helped facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences on gender issues in fisheries by supporting the attendance of participants from Viet Nam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines to the 3rd Global Symposium on Gender and Fisheries (3GAF) in Shanghai, China 21 to 23 of April.’
The Newsletter also features articles on work on co-management, safety at sea, community, vocational training, micro-finance and many other interesting topics in the Spanish-funded Programme’s project countries, namely: Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, Vietnam. If you wish to subscribe, please contact Steve Needham (email@example.com). Steve is the RFLP’s Information Officer.