Monthly Archives: January 2013

Add Gender Transformative Approach to Existing Efforts to Overcome Gender Inequality


The report from a recent CGIAR workshop at WorldFish Center, plus interviews with thought-leaders give insights into new ideas on a gender transformative approach.

Building Coalitions, Creating Change: An Agenda for Gender Transformative Research in Development

CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems. Penang, Malaysia. Workshop Report: AAS-2012-31.


There is compelling evidence that increased gender equity can make a significant contribution towards alleviating poverty and increasing food security. But past efforts to integrate gender into agricultural research and development practice have failed to address the inequalities that limit women’s access to agricultural inputs, markets, resources and advice. A Gender Transformative Approach (GTA) goes beyond just considering the symptoms of gender inequality, and addresses the social norms, attitudes, behaviors and social systems that underlie them. The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) has placed the GTA at the heart of its gender strategy. This workshop was an opportunity for researchers, practitioners and donors working in this area to address the challenge of how to translate this approach into actual research and development practice. The workshop recommended that a GTA should be adopted alongside, not instead of, existing efforts to reverse gender disparities in resources, technologies and markets. It is through this pairing that improved social and material outcomes can be achieved, with the expectation that when achieved together, both types of outcomes will be more lasting than if achieved individually.

Lake Victoria Fishermen’s Spouses Who Travel More at Risk of HIV/AIDS

Fish market, Kisimu County, Kenya. Photo source:

Fish market, Kisimu County, Kenya. Photo source:

The new study by Zachary A. Kwena, Carol S. Camlin, Chris A. Shisanya, Isaac Mwanzo, Elizabeth A. Bukusi, carried out in Kisimu County, near Lake Victoria, Kenya, delves into social patterns of mobility and the risks it brings for contracting HIV/AIDS.

Short-Term Mobility and the Risk of HIV Infection among Married Couples in the Fishing Communities along Lake Victoria, Kenya

PLOS ONE: download paper here 

Also check out links below for other recent papers on HIV/AIDS in Uganda Lake Victoria fishing communities.


Objective: Mobility has long been associated with high HIV prevalence. We sought to assess sex differences in the relationship between mobility and risk for HIV infection among married couples in the fishing communities.

Methods: We conducted 1090 gender-matched interviews and rapid HIV testing with 545 couples proportionally representing all the different sizes of the fish-landing beaches in Kisumu County. We contacted a random sample of fishermen as our index participants and asked them to enrol in the study together with their spouses. The consenting couples were separated into different private rooms for concurrent interviews and thereafter reunited for couple rapid HIV counselling and testing. In addition to socio-economic and behavioural data, we collected information on overnight travels and divided couples in 4 groups as follows both partners not mobile, both partners mobile, only woman mobile, and only man mobile. Other than descriptive statistics, we used X2 and U tests to compare groups of variables and multivariate logistic regression to measure association between mobility and HIV infection.

Results: We found significant differences in the number of trips women travelled  in the preceding month (mean 4.6, SD 7.1) compared to men (mean 3.3, SD 4.9; p,0.01) and when the women did travel, they were more likely to spend more days away from home than their male partners (mean 5.2 [SD 7.2] versus 3.4 SD 5.6; p = 0.01). With an HIV prevalence of 22.7% in women compared to 20.9% among men, mobile women who had non-mobile spouses had 2.1 times the likelihood of HIV infection compared to individuals in couples where both partners were non-mobile.

Conclusion: The mobility of fishermen’s spouses is associated with HIV infection that is not evident among fishermen themselves. Therefore, interventions in this community could be a combination of sex-specific programming that targets women and combined programming for couples.

Also read about other studies regarding HIV/AIDS in fishing communities around Lake Victoria, from Uganda.

Travel Grant Annexure

Abstracts for GAF4 may be uploaded to the main 10AFAF site.  Also please download the Travel Grant_Annexure (blank form available as a doc file in the link given below) and mail the filled in form to so as to reach the Program Sub-Committee of GAF4.  Please note that to be considered for the Travel Grant the abstracts must reach the organisers before February 10, 2013.

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Women as agents of wellbeing in Northern Ireland’s fishing households

Herring processing, Ardgladd, Ireland 1920s. Source:

Herring processing, Ardgladd, Ireland 1920s. Source:

Gendered change in fisheries is starting to emerge as a significant field of research. This new research paper from Easkey Britton, published in Maritime Studies, finds that, over the last century – from the days of the independent “herring lassies” to the days of  fisheries decline and factory closures –  women have become less and less visible, but more and more important to family well-being, often at the expense of subjugating their own needs. The paper is called “Women as agents of wellbeing in Northern Ireland’s Fishing households.”

This paper focuses on the gender dimensions of wellbeing in fishing households in Northern Ireland. The impact of change in the fishing industry on women’s wellbeing is outlined and linkages are made between changing access to fish and changing roles of women in fishing households. The paper explores what this change means for how women perceive and pursue their wellbeing needs and aspirations and how they negotiate their needs with the needs of the household. In an occupation as gender biased as fishing it is argued that in order for fisheries management and policy to be successful, a profile of what really matters to people is important. In particular, the paper highlights how such priorities link to the complex and dynamic role of women in fishing households.

The paper is open access and can be downloaded here

Also check out our earlier story on northern UK women in fisheries, covering a previous paper by Easkey and one by Minghua Zhao and colleagues.


The Asian Fisheries Society (AFS) is offering up to 8 travel awards for developing country presenters at the 4th Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF4) events at the 10th Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum. The awards are courtesy of a grant from the AquaFish Cooperative Research Support Program (CRSP) ( to AFS for GAF4. AFS thanks AquaFish CRSP for their wonderful support.

A: General Travel Awards:

Up to five GAF4 travel grants will be awarded to presenters selected on the basis of the quality and originality of their submitted abstracts for oral presentation. The grants are subject to certain conditions and criteria below. In addition, the abstracts must be received by the 10AFAF organizers no later than 10 February 2013 to enable the selection process to meet certain external deadlines. The amount of each award will depend to some extent on where the grantees come from, and take into account the costs of travel and other cost factors. The average amount for each award is USD$2,000 but may be less or more than this according to circumstances.

Selection Criteria and Conditions:

  1. Criteria:
    1. Quality, originality and appropriateness to the GAF4 Program (as posted on the website of of the abstract submitted for oral presentation (abstracts must be received on or before 10 February). In addition, applicants who could contribute, to one of the panels or round-tables named on the program will be considered favourably. However, grants will not be awarded for panel participation only. Priority will be given to the oral presentation proposal.
    2. Applicant must be a national of a non-OECD country.
    3. A majority of the awardees will be under 40 years of age.
    4. A balance of women and men will be selected if possible.
    5. Aquafish CRSP participants are encouraged to apply and compete for awards but applicants are not restricted to AwuaFish CRSP participants.
    6. Process
      1. The GAF4 Program Sub-Committee will be responsible for making the selection and recommending the awardees to the GAF4 Senior Group for final approval.
      2. Awardees will be notified by the Chair of the GAF4 Organizing Committee and payments made on attendance at the 10AFAF and GAF4.

B. Travel Awards for GAF4 Session in Honor of the late Dr M.C. Nandeesha

Up to three presenters will be awarded grants to present at a special session in honor of the late Dr M.C. Nandeesha, the initiator of the Asian Fisheries Society Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries activities. Dr Nandeesha, who died in December 2012, had a life long passion for gender justice and in the countries he worked, this meant creating opportunities for women, and especially poor women, in aquaculture, and ensuring that the educational, training, development and research institutes were receptive and supportive of women students and professionals.


For this Session, up to three selected presenters will each receive a grant of USD2,000 (average only – see explanation above) towards attendance. The awardees will be selected on the basis of their abstracts submitted for GAF4 before 10 February 2013. The criteria that will be used to select the grants for this session will be:

  1. Quality, originality and appropriateness to the special session theme, based on the abstract submitted for oral presentation (abstracts must be received on or before 10 February).
  2. Must be a national of a non-OECD country.

C. GAF4 Best Paper Awards

Two awards of $500 will be given, one for the GAF4 Best Paper and one for GAF4 Best Student Paper. All oral papers presented will be eligible for being considered for these two awards.

Abstracts for GAF4 may be uploaded to the main 10AFAF site.  Also please download the Travel Grant_Annexure (blank form available as a doc file in the link given below) and mail the filled in form to so as to reach the Program Sub-Committee of GAF4.  Please note that to be considered for the Travel Grant the abstracts must reach the organisers before February 10, 2013.

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Call for Applications for IFS Grants for Young Developing Country Researchers


If you are from a developing country, under 35 yrs (men), 40 years (women), and interested in furthering your research in:

– Sustainable NRM
– Water and Aquatic Resources
– Food Production, Food Security and Nutrition
then you may be eligible for an IFS award.

Applications close on 27 January, so check this out now if interested.

For full information go to: IFS information on grants.

What does space in a fish trading house mean to the fish traders?

Women fish traders examine fish before the auction. Photo: N. Turgo

Women fish traders examine fish before the auction. Photo: N. Turgo

Nelson Turgo’s paper, “Bugabug ang dagat” (Rough seas): Experiencing Foucault’s heterotopia in fish trading houses, in Social Science Diliman, provides intriguing analysis of how women and men fish traders use and view their daily spaces in fish trading houses of Mauban, Quezon province, Philippines.


Places in the contemporary world are subjected to the workings of differentiating logics, foremost of which is globalization and to the other end, the counter-logic of  localization, which results in, amongst others, the instantiation of differing spaces. These spaces, oftentimes co-existing and overlapping, are a result of contrapuntal forces, enacting their own colonization of places by people of varying interests. This article explores the other uses of kumisyunan (fish trading houses) by magririgaton (fish vendors) from a small fishing community in Quezon province that “simultaneously represent, contest, and invert” the very purpose and nature of the places’ rationale: fish trading. Heterotopia will be deployed in this article to further the ends of how a particular place could be inhabited by a number of spaces or exhibit alternate spatial possibilities and display a plethora of spatial practices within one singular location at different times in a particular spatial and temporal context. The article hopes to contribute to the further understanding of how everyday life and place is lived and reproduced in the variegated geographies of globalization in a developing economy like the Philippines.

Download the paper here

In GAF2, 2007 Kochi, Dr C. Ramachandran and colleagues presented on: “Gendered spaces, Technological Change and Fisheries Sustainability: A comparative analysis of women in Tuna Fisheries in Lakshadeep and Bivalve Fisheries in Kerala”.  This is another fascinating investigation of the use of space by women and men in a fisheries setting. Downlaod the PPT here.

See also Dr Turgo’s earlier paper and storyInsider’s Rapport? Take a Visit to a Philippine Coastal Community with Dr Nelson Turgo, Social Scientist

Also see Dr Turgo’s Ph D thesis: