Category Archives: France

Women’s voices, gender equity champions and a gender lens all matter – converging messages from GAF6

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A Thai woman gets ready to process threadfin salmon for the market. Photo: Supaporn Anuchiracheeva, the Small-scale Fishers and Organic Fisheries Products Project.

In bold outline, the take home messages from the GAF6 full report – Engendering Security in Fisheries and Aquaculture – converge on the following: women’s voices and gender equity champions  can make a real difference; and a gender lens lets us see inequalities and how to remedy them. These points were woven through the 68 rich and varied presentations, panels, posters and workshops of GAF6. Read the full report here, see the take home messages below.

  • Participants were urged to focus on gender relationships, not simply roles, and on intersectionality, as women’s and men’s lives were interconnected and gender interacted with other systems in society, e.g., cultural, political and economic structures.
  • The 2014 Small-Scale Fisheries Voluntary Guidelines are opening up new policy space on gender equality. Yet, in implementing the Guidelines, women have been deterred from taking part in decision-making, are invisible in most fisheries statistics and their interests excluded from national policies – unless NGOs and women’s groups have advocated for inclusion. Even when women’s needs are recognized, money and expertise may not have been allocated. In a hopeful sign, some recent projects are committed to gender equality.
  • Aquaculture is gendered. Gender roles and relationships in aquaculture follow typical social patterns of ownership, rights and power. Unless they break out as entrepreneurs, women are positioned in small-scale, near-home, and low technology aquaculture, or as low-paid labour in medium and industrial scale operations. Nevertheless, small-scale household aquaculture can fulfill important subsistence roles and be improved to better satisfy food security and nutrition.
  • A persistent thread on fair livelihoods in fish value chains was that gender equality and equity must be fought for, and protected by active measures, rather than expecting it to happen through a sense of natural justice.
  • Using a gender lens brings deeper understanding of climate and disaster adaptation. Flexibility, versatility and agency are keys to people’s resilience. Gender-blind efforts to help people adapt should always be challenged.
  • Real progress in securing gender equality will not be achieved unless social norms are transformed.

Read the whole GAF6 report here – Link

WSI the new association for women in the seafood industry will be at the Icelandic Fisheries Fair

logo-wsiWSI Press release, Paris, Tuesday 24 January 2017

WSI, an international association for Women in the Seafood Industry was created in December 2016 by specialists at the cross-road between the seafood industry and gender issues. WSI’s goals are to highlight women’s contribution to the seafood industry, to raise awareness of gender issues within this industry and to promote professional equality between men and women.

The motivation to create WSI came from the growing recognition that although one in every two seafood workers is a woman, women are over-represented in lowest paid and lowest valued positions and very few at leadership positions. Women are essential contributors to this important food industry, but they remain invisible, including to policy makers. There is a need to increase awareness about their role in this industry and to recognise the value they bring.

While we acknowledge that much progress has been achieved, a lot remains to be done. Stories about women in the seafood industry are rarely told. WSI will operate as a sounding board to amplify women’s voice and help them gain visibility through practical projects.

WSI has chosen the World Seafood Congress 2017 and the Icelandic Fisheries Fair (10-15 September 2017) to make its first public appearance. “The choice for Iceland is two-fold: its fishing industry is very dynamic and the country is at the forefront when it comes to gender equality. At Icefair, the fisheries fair, WSI will disseminate this uncomplicated yet often untold story: women are essential workers in the seafood industry but they are often invisible.” Explains Marie Christine Monfort, WSI President and co-founder. This will be the very first time that a women’s association holds a stand at a professional fisheries fair.

Come and meet us at Icefair in Hall 1 Stand A70.

WSI, a not for profit association, is founded by Marie Christine Monfort and Pascale Baelde , two seafood professionals (based in France) supported by two gender specialists (based in Singapore and London). This new association has already received the backing of men and women seafood professionals from France, the UK, Norway, Egypt, Australia, United States.

More information is available on www.wsi-asso.org.
Contacts: contact@wsi-asso.org
Président WSI, Marie Christine Monfort Tél : +33 6 3262 2477
Director WSI, Pascale Baelde Tél : +33 6 2431 9515

FAO report highlights gender imbalance in fish industry

Worker in Marz, Iceland, factory, the only women created and led seafood exporting country in Iceland. Photo: Grapevine magazine, Iceland 2 Jan 2014.

Worker in Marz, Iceland, factory, the only women created and led seafood exporting country in Iceland. Photo: Grapevine magazine, Iceland 2 Jan 2014.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), through its GLOBEFISH unit on international fish trade, recently released a report – “The Role of Women in the Seafood Industry” – that highlighted the contributions and constraints on women through all levels and scales of the fish industry. The report, written by Marie-Christine Monfort, is a welcome addition to the global analysis of women in the industry and particularly focuses its attention on “the
widespread lack of consideration for their role and work in the seafood industry is, in many respects, disadvantageous to them and ultimately bars them from participating fully and equitably in the industry.” It is aimed to raise awareness in business leaders and policy makers.

In its general analysis and conclusions, much of what the report says will not be news to readers of this website, but the author makes her points well and strongly, for example in tables such as that below on “where are the women.”where are the women

Marie Christine Monfort at GAF5, Lucknow.

Marie Christine Monfort at GAF5, Lucknow.

In particular, the author, herself successful in the seafood industry, takes a private sector industry view that distinguishes it from the studies and reports of academics and government experts, with a strong focus on what is happening in companies of all sizes and in their workforces and management. She gives board and management numbers and employee number by gender for the top companies, and lists companies headed by women.

A unique feature comes in the second part of the report, namely the 6 case studies of Croatia, Egypt, France, Iceland, India and Senegal. Each country is analysed for the knowledge about women’s participation in the seafood industry, awareness of gender inequalities and corrective measures in the seafood industry. The picture is not encouraging, with the possible exception of Iceland where knowledge and awareness are high, but corrective measures to help women still largely lacking, although now the women have created their own supportive network.

The report can be downloaded from FAO: click here.

See also Marie-Christine Monfort’s presentation at GAF5.

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

25th SPC Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin: Looking forward and back

Seaweed farming Waigina, Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands. Photo by M. Kronen, SPC WIF25.

Seaweed farming Waigina, Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands. Photo by M. Kronen, SPC WIF25.

The Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC), has just released its 25th Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin. Congratulations to the SPC, Bulletin Editors including current editor Dr Veikila Vuki, donors and supporters for this achievement. This issue starts with a message of support from Moses Amos, the new Director of SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division, who outlines his vision for women in fisheries at the SPC.

The whole issue or individual articles can be downloaded here.

CONTENTS

Counting Women’s Participation in EU Aquaculture

Carp, Czeck Republic. Source: The Prague Post 21 Dec 2011.

Carp, Czeck Republic. Source: The Prague Post 21 Dec 2011, Walter Novak.

A new EU report on the European Union member countries’ aquaculture sector contains some basic gender-disaggregated data on employment in the production segment of aquaculture. Although the statistics are incomplete, they nevertheless provide some useful information. The report is called: The Economic Performance of the EU Aquaculture Sector – 2012 exercise. (STECF-13-03). It is  a joint Scientific and Policy Report and was produced by the Joint Research Centre.

The statistics in the report refers to EU companies whose main activity is aquaculture production (‘Fish Farming’ according to official codes and definitions). Although some companies do other activities (eg. processing, distribution, marketing), aquaculture production is their main activity and therefore the data (mainly) refers to production .

More detailed data for the EU aquaculture sector is available also online,  by segment (combination of main species and technology). From this data it can be seen in which sectors the presence of women is more important (eg.  shellfish gathering in several EU countries).  Thanks to Dr Jordi Guillen, an Editor for the report for these data explanations.

Download the aquaculture report here: download

The key results show that, in 2010, women comprised:

– 29 % of the EU aquaculture sector employment

– 23 % of the FTE (full-time-equivalents) in employment

– 27 % of the EU aquaculture shellfish sector employment.

–  24 % of the EU aquaculture marine sector employment.

– 29 % of the EU aquaculture freshwater sector employment (but data are  less complete than for other forms because they are not compulsory – France and Romania are  biggest employers).

Women’s participation varied greatly by country and the EU averages tended to be dominated by patterns in France and Spain. The table below is an extract of data for countries with more than 1,000 aquaculture jobs.

Country

Total Number employees (2010)

Number female

% female

% female FTE

France

19,814

7,030

35

28

Ireland

1,719

146

8

8

Portugal

2,320

430

19

18

Romania

3,933

603

15

15

Spain

27,907

8,055

29

21

UK

4,000

n.a.

n.a.

[18% women in Scottish shellfish industry]