Category Archives: Gender

Save the date: GAF-7 18-20 October 2018, @ AIT Bangkok

Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries: Expanding the horizons

059. A fisherwoman and her son share their joy of a day well spent. Description: Photo shot in a fishing village in West Bengal, India, where the entire village engages in processing dry fish. Photo: Pradip Kumar Mahato, graphic artist

GAF-7 – the 7th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries – will be held from 18-20 October, 2018, hosted at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand.

Plan to be there! GAF-7 is a stand-alone event, that will be packed with  a variety of different activities and sessions covering all aspects – truly expanding the horizons.

The GAF7 session and event themes, call for abstracts and other information will be available shortly.

Watch this page!

Results of M.C. Nandeesha Photo Competition announced in Kochi

22 November 2017

The winners of the three prizes for the M.C. Nandeesha Photo Competition were announced in Kochi during the GAF-India event at the 11th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum. Judged by online voting and a panel of 4 members of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section, in addition to the prizes, 5 Highly Commended entries were named.

We thank all the entrants whose wonderful photos made the judges and voters jobs very difficult. Congratulations to the 3 winners and those whose photos were Highly Commended.

Here are all the results. Visit the competition page to see all the photos.

FIRST PRIZE 002. Women participate in fish harvesting (From aquaculture pond Tripura, India). Photo: Vikash Kumar, ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata, West Bengal

First Prize: Vikash Kumar, ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CIFRI), Barrackpore, Kolkata, India.

002. Women participation in fish harvesting (From aquaculture pond Tripura, India)

Second Prize: Ranjan Manna, Principal Scientist, ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata, India.

 010. Equal contributor: Catching fish using gill net from a river in Indian Sundarban

Third Prize: Deepjyoti Baruah, Senior Scientist, ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research, Bhimtal, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India.

 044. Women in Assam fishing for food security

Highly Commended: Pradip Kumar Mahato, Graphic artist, India.

 058. Mending Lives Together. Description: The photo was taken at a fishing harbour in West Bengal, India, where men and women were found sharing responsibilities in mending fishing nets.

Highly Commended: Tabrez Nasar, Dean, Institute of Livelihood Research and Training, India.

 004. Male entrepreneurs from Meghalaya learning from women entrepreneurs in Jharkhand, India.

Highly Commended: Renju Ravi, Marketing Assistant, National Institute of Fisheries Post Harvest Technology and Training (NIFPHATT), Foreshore Road, Ernakulam, Kerala, India.

025. More than equality, striving for a livelihood

Highly Commended: Suvra Roy, Scientist, ICAR- Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, India.

 003. Women participation in sorting and grading of fishes after catch (from coastal region of Sundarbans)

Highly Commended: Neelkanth Mishra, CEO, Centre for Aquatic Livelihood -Jaljeevika, Pune, India.

020. Netting Destiny: Hidden faces of women in fisheries

Discover our new Women in Aquaculture Profile

Difficult working conditions: women bending over and sitting submerged in water for long periods tying seaweed to farm stakes, Zanzibar. Photo: Flower Msuya

If you are looking for a readable, succinct and authoritative overview on women in aquaculture, then you may appreciate the new Profile on Women in Aquaculture by Cecile Brugere and Meryl Williams. This Profile was developed with the collaboration of Aquaculture without Frontiers Australia, support from Skretting Australia, and subjected to a review by peers. It is now the 3rd Discover GAF Profile put out by the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society (see also Gleaning by Danika Kleiber, and Women divers by Enrique Alonso-Población).

The Profile makes the case that women’s opportunities in aquaculture have not kept pace with the rapid growth of the sector. Reliable sex-disaggregated statistics are missing for aquaculture, and most sectoral policies are gender-blind. To achieve gender equality and empower women, the aquaculture sector has to mainstream gender targets in all its certification, accreditation, and labour policies and practices.

“Gender equality is in the detail”: Examining gender issues in aquaculture requires delving into the specificities of both the sector and women’s involvement in it. Research can shed light on what makes women lose (or retain) control over their activities as the scale, intensity and economics of aquaculture production grows. On small scale farms, women and men frequently work together, carrying out complementary activities. In medium and industrial scale aquaculture, women are at the lower end of the pay scale or unpaid. As production intensifies, women’s engagement drops. They rarely become managers, although they are capable of rising to this level. Women are the bulk of workers in post-harvest and product transformation activities.

Today, more women are graduating in aquaculture from higher education institutes and gender parity has been achieved in some cases. More women are entering highly skilled employment.

Aquaculture can empower women, and lead to better household food security and nutrition, but these benefits are not automatic.

Aquaculture practitioners need good technical instruments for gender-responsive planning, indicators of progress, training and communications.

Check out and download the Profile of Women in Aquaculture here.

A gendered approach to nutrition-sensitive homestead pond polyculture

By Sarah Castine and Shakuntala Thilsted

Left: Women preparing mola (Amblypharyngodon
mola). Right: pool barb or jat punti (Puntius sophore) showing nuptial coloration during spawning time. Photos: Shakuntala Thilsted.

A recent paper: “Homestead pond polyculture can improve access to nutritious small fish” published in the journal Food Security1 investigates an aquaculture production system in Bangladesh which is tailored towards improving nutrition and is accessible to and can be managed by women.

In Bangladesh, and many parts of rural south Asia, women’s movements outside the homestead are restricted and they spend much time at home taking care of children and other family members, food preparation and other household chores. Access to nutritious foods in these households can be limited, resulting in poor diets and little dietary diversity which can contribute to undernutrition. A nutrition-sensitive approach to homestead pond polyculture, engaging both women and men has been introduced by WorldFish and partners. This includes polyculture of small and large fish species in homestead ponds, vegetable production in homestead gardens and on pond dykes, nutrition education and gender equity, in terms of work load and food distribution. This approach allows for increased household income from sale of produce as well as increased access to and intake of nutrient-rich small fish and vegetables, with focus on women and children in the first 1,000 days of life.

Different modes and methods were applied in order to engage both female and male household members. Women and men, in groups of 20-25 received training in fish and vegetable production, nutrition and gender equity. Lead farmers, both women and men conducted training and supported the households in the activities. In some cases, women were specifically trained in harvesting small amounts of small fish for household consumption and in preparing dishes with nutrient-rich small fish for young children.

The paper describes that homestead pond polyculture, with small and large fish, using a nutrition-sensitive approach can have outstanding nutrition and health benefits, especially for women and young children. For adoption of the nutrition-sensitive pond polyculture approach, engaging all household members and providing both women-only training and combined women and men training should be applied. Women were engaged in pond polyculture, spending up to 25 minutes per day on tasks such as fish feeding, pond preparation and maintenance. Lead female farmers described that their physical mobility in the community gave them a better status and a feeling of being valued. An analysis of the dynamics and power relations between women and men with regard to work load and income earned from nutrition-sensitive pond polyculture is needed to gauge how this approach impacts women’s status within the household and in the community. Strong partnerships with the nutrition and health sector, government organisations and the private sector will ensure quality training of household members and wide dissemination of this aquaculture production system.

  1. Castine, Sarah A., Jessica R. Bogard, Benoy K. Barman, Manjurul Karim, Md. Mokarrom Hossain, Mrityunjoy Kunda, A. B. M. Mahfuzul Haque, Michael J. Phillips and Shakuntala H. Thilsted. 2017. Homestead pond polyculture can improve access to nutritious small fish. Food Security 9:785–801.

 

Report from the Thematic Symposium on Gender and Fisheries @ World Women’s Congress

From left to right: Cibele Silveira; Adriana Eidt; Adriana Abreu; Luceni Hellebrandt; Maria
Aparecida Souza Couto; Maria Helena Santana Cruz; Suzana Mary de Andrade
Nunes; Melina Chiba Galvão; Maria do Rosário de Fátima Andrade Leitão; Ivan
Costa Lima; Suelen Ribeiro de Souza; Estêfano Ribeiro; Carmen Pedroza.

On 1 August, at the 13th World Women’s Congress, held in Florianopolis, Brazil, Maria do Rosário de Fátima Andrade Leitão and Maria Helena Santana Cruz coordinated the Gender and Fisheries Thematic Symposium. Researchers at the Symposium  presented studies about Brazilian women in fishery activities, plus a  contribution on women in fisheries in Mexico. The report of the Symposium (LINK), includes the abstracts of each presentation. Thanks to Luceni  Hellebrandt for the report.

The thematic Symposium was entitled: Transformations, connections, displacements of feminism regarding sex, work, educational formation and traditional communities (fisherwomen, fishermen, “quilombola” and indigenous communities, and family farmers), and was coordinated by Maria do Rosário de Fátima Andrade Leitão (Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco), Maria Helena Santana Cruz (Universidade Federal de Sergipe).

The presentations were:

  • Ma. del Carmen Pedroza Gutiérrez (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) Women’s contribution and struggle in inland and marine fisheries in Mexico
  • Joao Luis Joventino do Nascimento (Estudante), Ivan Costa Lima (Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-Brasileira) Na pesca e na luta: mulheres pescadoras quilombolas do mangue do Cumbe contra as injustiças ambientais [In fishing and fighting: Cumbe mangrove quilombola women against environmental injustices]
  • Adriana Guimarães Abreu (Universidade Federal do Pará), Edna Ferreira Alencar (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3) Environment, periods and locations of gender in pirarucus managed fishing: an analysis of the construction process of the Jaruá fisheries agreement / Mamirauá-AM Sustainable development reserve
  • Melina Chiba Galvão (Instituto Federal de Santa Catarina (IFSC)) Livelihoods Adaptive strategies and the roles of women in an artisanal fishing socioecological system in southern Brazil
  • Luceni Medeiros Hellebrandt (Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro) Contributions from Women of Z3 experiences to the Gender and Fisheries field of study
  • Antônia Mara Raposo Diógenes (Universidade Federal do Amazonas), Christiane Perira Rodrigues (ISNTITUTO FEDERAL DE EDUCAÇÃO , CIENCIA E TECNOLOGIA DO AMAZONAS), Elenise Faria Scherer (Universidade Federal do Amazonas) The shrimp fishers in Parintins-AM: work and way of life in the Amazonian fishing environment
  • Suelen Ribeiro de Souza (Universidade Estadual Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro – UENF), Marcelo Carlos Gantos (UENF), Silvia Alicia Martínez (Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense) Fishing women: an analysis of bibliographic productions about gender relations in the universe of craft fishing

The last time a gender and fisheries session was held at a World Women’s Congress was in 2011, with the  “Why the Coast Matters to Women” session.

“Father teaches son fishing and living without violence”

Studies on masculinity and gender issues, and particularly on domestic violence in fishing communities, are rare in fisheries research literature which tends, rather, to focus on technical, biological, economic and governance aspects of the industry and the people in it. In some cases, social and health groups reach out to people in fishing communities in their efforts to overcome gender-based violence. One such case was reported in the 2013 paper in the Oxfam periodical Gender and Development , called “‘Because I am a man, I should be gentle to my wife and my children’: positive masculinity to stop gender-based violence in a coastal district in Vietnam” by Tu-Anh Hoang, Trang Thu Quach and Tam Thanh Tran.

Boatsandrice-Cau-Lo

A range of fishing boats at Cau Lo, Vietnam. Left: 2008 photo of a mixed group of traditional wooden fishing vessels moored in the river, including the basket boats on top of vessels at center and left of photo. Right: Deepwater port at Cua Lo, Vietnam, and large modern motor fishing vessels. Source: Courtesy of Ken Preston, “Wooden Boats of the North Vietnamese Coast” on the website, “The Wooden Working Boats of Indochina”, http://boatsandrice.com/nVN.html

This paper describes an intervention targeted at men who had been involved in cases of gender-based violence and worked with them to create a greater understanding of the immediate and culturally embedded causes of the violence. The project helped the men, all fishermen, to develop more positive behaviours in their family relationships, winning them greater appreciation in their homes and in society.

Abstract: Despite the efforts of the government to promote gender equality in Vietnam, genderbased violence is still a critical issue. This article explores a pilot project, the Responsible Men Club, developed and implemented in a coastal district in Vietnam from 2010 to 2012 to work with men to stop violence against their wives. Focusing on masculinity and promoting gender equality in a culturally relevant way significantly improves acceptance of the programme by men themselves and their communities, and enhances its impact. We argue that empowerment, a process often used for women, is also important for men. To construct and encourage a positive, non-violent version of masculinity, men need relevant knowledge, skills, mentoring, and peer support. It is a challenge for gender-based violence programmes to work on increasing public awareness of the issue of violence against women, and reduce society’s tolerance of it, without increasing stigmatisation of and objections to men in general, and to perpetrator men in particular.

Download the papers here

 

Securing women’s fishing rights: a look at 5 South American coastal communities

Map of 5 sites

Country sites for the rights based management study. Source: Williams et al 2017 NAAFE presentation.

Rights1,2 and rights-based management (RBM) 3 have long been fundamental concepts examined in theory and practice in the search for sustainable and socially just fisheries management. However, few studies have engaged this discourse on the practical issue of women’s rights in fisheries. One exception is a study presented at the North American Association for Fisheries (NAFFE) conference in March 2017, by Jordan Williams and colleagues of the Environmental Defense Fund. Using the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines as their basis for action, they posed the research question “How can rights-based management secure the livelihoods and rights of women, and help to support gender equity in coastal fishing communities?” In their presentation (Abstract below),  they first diagnosed the current situation of women’s engagement in fisheries (commercial, subsistence and post-harvest activities), women’s influence in decision-making., and their current fishing rights.  The work was done at 5 sites in 4 countries (Belize, Chile, Cuba and Mexico). Based on the diagnosis of the present situation, the study will be examining how better data and a sharp gender lens on the systems of rights based management and decision-making can help secure women’s rights and tenure in the fisheries. The study is still a work in progress.

Securing women’s rights and livelihoods” Authors: Jordan Williams; Alexis Rife; Sarah Smith, PhD, NAAFE Forum 2017: Designing rights-based management systems to achieve social objectives in fisheries.

Abstract: The UN Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Small-scale Fisheries, along with the Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests, recognize the role of secure tenure in ensuring the livelihoods, well-being, and basic human rights of small-scale fishing (SSF) communities. Rights-based management (RBM), which works to secure tenure rights, can therefore serve as a useful tool in upholding the rights of all SSF participants. Globally, women in SSF communities have increasingly been recognized for their contributions, not just as wives of fishermen, but as seafood processors, traders, retailers, and in some cases, fishers themselves. However, traditional societal rules and expectations have, in many cases, come to marginalize women, leaving them out of decision-making and limiting their access to resources. Recognizing and incorporating gender-specific roles and access needs can be built into the design process of RBM systems in order to secure women’s tenure rights and meet social goals around food security, livelihoods, and protection of economic security and social welfare. Designing gender-responsive management strategies requires localized knowledge about the contributions and concerns of women throughout the value chain; this project identifies the role that women play in several SSF communities where the EDF is working to establish sustainable fisheries management through secure tenure. Utilizing this robust information, we can develop gender-responsive RBM strategies that not only support the economic and biological viability of fisheries, but aim to meet common social goals within these communities and ensure equitable access to resources and representation, regardless of gender.

  1. Gordon HS. The economic theory of a common property resource: the fishery.
    Journal of Political Economy 1954;62:124–42.
  2. Scott A. The fishery: the objectives of sole ownership. Journal of Political
    Economy 1955;63:116–54.
  3. Allison, E.H., Ratner, B.D., Åsgård, B., Willmann, R., Pomeroy, R. and Kurien, J., 2012. Rights‐based fisheries governance: from fishing rights to human rights. Fish and Fisheries, 13(1), pp.14-29.