Category Archives: China

A welcome new FAO gender Handbook to support the Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines

A very welcome addition to the technical support for the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication – a handbook –  has just been released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).  Called “Towards gender-equitable small-scale fisheries governance and development“, the handbook written by Nilanjana Biswas, of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), is a treasure trove of essential background knowledge on women, gender and small-scale fisheries, combined with practical advice and case examples on incorporating gender equality principles in small scale fisheries work. The target audience is broad – from government officers to fishers and their communities, fish worker groups and researchers, as befits a product of the very participatory development process the Handbook team took.

The Handbook is organised in 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Understanding gender and the role of women in small-scale fisheries
  • Part 2: Responsible fisheries and sustainable development through a gender lens
  • Part 3: Ensuring an enabling environment for gender equality and supporting implementation

Among the rich and varied advice and explanatory boxes are such gems as a guide to tried and tested FAO methods for assessing post-harvest losses, and disaster response and rehabilitation issues to target to help women. Throughout, the Handbook has action points for policy-makers and for community service organisations, offering a few key tips on each subject.

A particular highlight is the set of case studies, each containing a description of the case, followed by a gender-sensitive “Let’s analyse this…” section that gets to the heart of the gender issues.

Here is the list of Case Studies:

  1. Women in fishing communities on Lake Victoria
  2. Tenure rights of traditional fishing communities in Raigad, India
  3. Recognition of indigenous community-owned land in Nicaragua
  4. War-affected women in the fishing villages of the Mannar Coast,
    Sri Lanka
  5. Self-regulation by women harvesters in the Gulf of Mannar, India
  6. Mandira Marine Extractive Region, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  7. Transboundary issues and fishers – learning from India and Sri Lanka
  8. Transboundary issues and fishers – learning from the European Union
  9. Diversifying livelihoods for small-scale fishing communities in Uganda
  10. Pacific Fishing Company on Levuka Island, Fiji
  11. Migrant Chinese women workers employed in oyster shucking in Japan
  12. Growing violence and abuse in small-scale fisheries in South Africa
  13. Reclaiming the Marol fish market in Mumbai, India
  14. Impact of harbour fishing on fish trade in Kerala, India
  15. Impact of competition along Lake Victoria in Kenya and on inland
    fisheries in Zambia
  16. Impact of industrialization on women in small-scale post-harvest
    fisheries in South Africa
  17. Issues of cross-border trade for traditional women fish vendors in
    Cambodia
  18. The risks of neglecting women in policy implementation
  19. Post-tsunami rehabilitation in Aceh, Indonesia
  20. Impact of mine pollution in Buyat Bay, Indonesia
  21. Matsyafed in Kerala, India – an apex cooperative for small-scale fisheries
  22. Impact of seasonal fishing ban on women fish traders in
    Puducherry, India
  23. Marshall Point, a coastal indigenous fishing/farming community in
    Nicaragua
  24. Women fishers fight corruption in the Sunderbans, India
  25. An example of value chain analysis (VCA) (in Malawi)
  26. Public hearing on issues of women in the fish trade in Kerala, India
  27. Enabling women’s participation in meetings in Kigombe, the United
    Republic of Tanzania
  28. Fisherwomen in Brazil organize for their rights
  29. Regional Fisheries Livelihood Programme for South and Southeast
    Asia (RFLP)
  30. Mainstreaming gender in the BOBLME project

Download the full Handbook at this LINK.

Still few women leaders in 100 top seafood companies

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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.

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 – https://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

 

Moving the Agenda Forward

Successful woman in coastal fisheries, Thailand. Photo: Cristina Lim

Special Gender Issue  of Asian Fisheries Science journal released for FREE DOWNLOAD

Our Guest Editorial explores how the gender agenda is progressing in aquaculture and fisheries, and then 21 research and technical papers and short reports explore (a) gender roles in widely varying aquaculture and fisheries socio-ecological systems, (b) women’s agency in fish supply chains and ecosystems and (c) inclusion of women in aquaculture and fisheries institutions.

Read and download for free all these papers and the summary of all presentations at the 2011 3rd Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries here. We are grateful to the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for enabling the Asian Fisheries Society to make the journal issue free from the start.

Hard copies can be purchased from the Asian Fisheries Society (www.asianfisheriessociety.org).

AFS 3rd Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries

GAF3 will be held on 21 and 22 April 2011, as part of  the 9th Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum of the Asian Fisheries Society

Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, P.R. China. 21-25 April 2011

You are invited to present your work  at the Symposium and to attend and contribute to the discussions <submit abstracts on line> .  The deadline for abstracts is 20 December 2010.

Please see the Themes for GAF3.

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