Category Archives: Chile

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.

Still few women leaders in 100 top seafood companies

43-nuruzzaman

Shrimp processing in Bangladesh. Worldwide, women are the most common workers on the factory floor, but in top seafood companies are rare on company boards and in senior management.  Photo: M. Nuruzzaman, Bangladesh.

Women may be numerous on the factory floors of top seafood producers but, at the top of the companies, their numbers are small. Marie-Christine Monfort, a seafood industry insider herself, conducted a follow-up survey to track changes since she authored an earlier report for FAO (see our previous post). The recent study found that the number of women in senior leadership positions shifted little between 2014 and 2016.

Some quick facts from the latest study:

  • Only one company (Marusen Chiyoda Suisan, Japan) is headed by a woman
  • Nearly half the companies for which details are available (38 of 71) have no women on their boards
  • Noway (31%) and China (20%) companies have the highest percentage of women board members, and Chile and Japan the lowest (2%), followed closely by UK (4%)
  • The average percent of women on boards in all the top companies surveyed is 9.1%

The report recommends that the time has come for the sector to encourage more women in top ranks and give them more of a say in decision-making.

The report can be downloaded here.

Women disadvantaged by how fisheries are structured

The September 2016 issue of Yemaya (Issue 52), the gender and fisheries newsletter of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) is full of articles that explore the structural inequalities affecting women in fisheries and aquaculture. This is recommended reading!

gaf6-group-photo

GAF6 Group Photo, 4 August 2016, Bangkok. Yemaya 52 includes a report of GAF6.

Contents (below) and link to Issue 52

  • Gathering cooperation (Costa Rica mollusk gatherers) by Aracelly Jimenez and colleagues
  • Milestones (highlights the new document “ICSF’s Journey with Women in Fisheries”) by Ramya Rajagopalan
  • Fighting invisibility (Brazil’s women on their rights to social security and decent work) by Beatriz Ferrari
  • What a woman! (women are the new “watermen” in Chesapeake Bay, USA) by Mariette Correa
  • Profile of Mercy Wasai Mghanga (Kenyan woman fishworker leader) by Hadley B. Becha
  • Nurturing the eel (inland fisheries management in the Netherlands) by Cornelie Quist
  • Gender inequality: GAF6 asks ‘WHY?’ by Meryl Williams and colleagues
  • The climate for change! (gender discussions at FishAdapt conference) by Meryl Williams and Angela Lentisco
  • Q & A (Interview with Cao Thi Thien, Chairwoman of Hoang Phong Commune
    Women’s Union, Vietnam) by Nguyen Thu Trang
  • Yemaya Mama (The fish value chain cartoon)
  • Yemaya Recommends: El Rol De La Mujer En La Pesca Y La Acuicultura En Chile, Colombia, Paraguay Y Perú Integración, Sistematización Y Análisis De Estudios Nacionales Informe Final = rreview by Vivienne Solis

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 influence of exisiting gender and labor patterns on women’s participation in the Island of Chiloé salmon industry, Chile

Chilote women selling home-made empanadas, including those containing salmon, Chiloe Island, Chile. Photo: Latin Chattin http://latinchattin.com/2013/06/05/chiloe-exploring-chiles-largest-island/

Chilote women selling home-made empanadas, including those containing salmon, Chiloe Island, Chile. Photo: Kate Stevenson and Daniel Poulter, Latin Chattin http://latinchattin.com/2013/06/05/chiloe-exploring-chiles-largest-island/

Rapid economic development in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors often relies heavily on local or migrant women workers entering the paid workforce. This has been the case on the Island of Chiloé in southern Chile, one of the areas of intense growth of salmon aquaculture and salmon processing for export.  In their recent paper in the journal World Development, Eduardo Ramírez and Ruerd Ruben examined the pre-existing gender patterns that led to a fast uptake by women of paid employment in the salmon industry.  The area went from a lower than national average rate of women in the workforce in 1996 (26.6% in Chiloé compared to 36.6% nationally) to, in 2009, a higher than national average in (48% vs 43%).

The paper, “Gender Systems and Women’s Labor Force Participation in the Salmon Industry in Chiloé,” reported statistical evidence that women whose husbands previously migrated seasonally for several months, leaving them to do productive “men’s work” such as farming, as well as reproductive work, were more likely to take up paid work than other women. The women whose previous productive work was more conceived locally as “women’s work,” were less likely to take up the new paid work. These more traditional areas of women’s work were shellfish and seaweed harvesting and crafts.

Despite the ingress of women into the paid workforce, however, a gender pay gap still exists, even after adjusting for types of work undertaken by women and men.

Ramírez and Ruben suggest that more studies should look at the effects of territory-specific or local gender systems should be carefully examined and taken into account in labor policies, rather than assuming national heterogeneity.

Download the paper or contact the author, e-mail: eramirez@rimisp.org

To learn more of the background of Chiloe Island and the salmon industry, try these links:

Hayward, P. 2011, ‘Salmon aquaculture, cuisine and cultural disruption in Chiloe’, Locale: The Australasian-Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 87-110.

Pablo Ibieta, et al. 2011. Chilean Salmon Farming on the Horizon of Sustainability: Review of the Development of a Highly Intensive Production, the ISA Crisis and Implemented Actions to Reconstruct a More Sustainable Aquaculture Industry, Aquaculture and the Environment – A Shared Destiny, Dr. Barbara Sladonja (Ed.). Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/books/aquaculture-and-the-environment-a-shared-destiny/chilean-salmon-farming-on-the-horizon-of-sustainability-review-of-the-development-of-a-highly-intens

Stevenson, K. and D. Poulter. 2013. Chiloe – Exploring Chile’s largest Island. http://latinchattin.com/2013/06/05/chiloe-exploring-chiles-largest-island/

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!”

Chile: protected areas, women’s and men’s livelihoods

In studying peoples’ livelihoods in the Pinguino de Humboldt National Reserve and Isla Choro and Isla Damas Marine Reserve, Susan Qashu used a political ecology framework to study women’s and men’s strategies in adapting to a national marine reserve, national park, and tourism development while retaining their traditional fisheries. She found that women and men ‘diversified their traditional livelihoods as pastoralists, fishers and harvesters to include tourism operators.’

To download report:  http://www.fpa.conama.cl/archivos/2012/proyectos/Cap-Diversified_Livelihoods_in_the_Los_Choros_Community.pdf