Category Archives: Iceland

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.

Mapping the action on International Women’s Day ’17

Map showing the locations (mainly at country resolution level) for events and news about women in aquaculture, fisheries and seafood in honor of International Women’s Day 2017. If you have more events from 8 March 2017 to put on this map, please let us know at: e-mail genderaquafish@gmail.com.

IWD-17-image-1

Click this LINK to view the interactive version of of the above map, created with eSpatial mapping software.

Before, during and after 8 March 2017 (International Women’s Day), news, tweets and posts flooded in relating to the Day. Our group shared these events via two roundup messages. We have now put the events onto the map above, using eSpatial mapping software, and generous assistance from Ciara at eSpatial (thank you Ciara!).

To read the details of any event, click on the marker for it. We have placed the event marker on the country (sometimes city or state) where the event happened, although many have global or regional significance.

This seemed to be the most active IWD ever from a fisheries, aquaculture and seafood industry perspective. Let’s hope it is a sign of an active and fruitful year ahead for gender equality in the sector!

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.

Iceland: mobility and flexibility in the face of change

Urbanization trends and the social impacts of economic change are macro social and economic themes today but rarely do we look more closely at the impacts on local and rural people. Anna Karlsdóttir has recently looked more closely at the women’s perspectives in Husavık village, NE Iceland, in a study done after Iceland’s economic collapse. Over the years leading up to the collapse, the village had gone from a fishing and agricultural services center to one focusing more on tourism and whale watching. Even before the economic crisis, under the fisheries quota system inhabitants had more limited access to fisheries resources and out-migration was already occurring among the young. This study of young women focused on the ‘agency perspective, emphasizing their own power to make decisions about where to live’, plus the effect of external circumstances/structures. Family ties and social relations were found to be the dominant reasons women chose to live in the village. Men were more mobile in seeking employment in changed economic conditions and women more flexible in what employment they would take but also in shouldering greater home duties; their mobility depends greatly on social relations

Link (needs access) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08038740.2011.594029 Authors e-mail: annakar@hi.is