Category Archives: Japan

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.

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

thailand-2

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

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.

Yemaya August issue highlights Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines

Usha Tai in a discussion with representatives of fi shworkers organization at a meeting organized by ICSF. Photo: Yemaya Aug 2014

The August 2014 issue of Yemaya, the newsletter on gender and fisheries of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) is full of interesting articles. It highlights the gender implications of the new Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines, plus articles on Japan, India and The Gambia. Download the issue at this link.

Articles
  • Editorial: Nilanjana Biswas
  • Japan: Migrant hands, local profits by Kumi Soejims & Katia Frangoudes
  • Profile: “I love fishing at all times”— Jeannette Naranjo (Costa Rica) by Vivienne Solis Rivera
  • The Gambia: Trading away food security by Nilanjana Biswas
  • India: Remembering Usha Tamore by Shuddhawati S Peke
  • Milestones: The Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines by Ramya Rajagopalan
  • Japan: Sea, people and life by Katia Frangoudes & Annie Castaldo
  • What’s New Webby? GAF5 by Ramya Rajagopalanby
  • India: A question of identity (for seaweed collectors) by Sumana Narayanan
  • Q & A: Carmen, Honduras by Norman Flores and
    Vivienne Solis Rivera
  • Yemaya Mama: cartoon
  • Yemaya Recommends: Standards for collecting sex disaggregated data for gender analysis:  A guide for CGIAR researchers by Caitlin Kieran & Cheryl Doss

GAF4 Spotlight was on Gender and Change

The full report, program and all slide presentations from the 4th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries are NOW ONLINE!

Fishery changes shift working spaces, create and destroy jobs and bring overlaps in women’s and men’s roles. 

At the end of GAF4, student volunteers and Piyashi DebRoy (winner of GAF4 AquaFish CRSP Best Student Paper award congratulate all GAF4 participatns.

Congratulations to GAF4 participants from our student volunteers from Chonnam National University, Moon Eun-Ji (left) and Bak So-Hyeon (right), and Piyashi DebRoy (center and winner of GAF4 AquaFish CRSP Best Student Paper award) .

“Gender and fisheries studies, therefore, are increasingly addressing these changes and how women and men were affected by them,” said Dr Nikita Gopal who led the Program Committee that organized this highly energetic and successful event.  GAF4 also continued to fill out the global picture showing that women and gender issues are still not properly understood in the fisheries sector.”

Feedback declared GAF4 the most successful and highest quality of the 6 women in fisheries/gender in aquaculture and fisheries events held by the Asian Fisheries Society over the last 15 years.

On Genderaquafish.org you will find:

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).

Nori culture and gender in Japan

Nori farmer, Shimanto, Japan. Source: Wiki commons “the Story of the Seaweed Lady” http://www.thenutgraph.com/the-story-of-the-seaweed-lady/

Transition in nori cultivation : evolution of household contribution and gendered division of labor

by Dr A. Delaney  ad@ifm.aau.dk

In Cahiers de Biologie Marine http://www.sb-roscoff.fr/cbm/cbm.htm?execution=e1s1

[CdBM (2011) Vol 52(4):527-533]

Abstract: Consumers throughout the world have gained familiarity with the seaweed nori (porphyra spp) thanks to the popularity of Asian cuisine, particularly Japanese sushi. Few actually know much about the people who produce this seaweed, however. This article presents qualitative social science research undertaken in Northeastern Japan among a community of nori cultivators on their production process and cultural way of life. Natural scientists acknowledge that in order to manage natural resources, it is actually the resource users who must be managed. In order to manage resource users, with the goals of social and environmental sustainability, we must understand both society and cultural institutions. With this in mind, this article focuses on the division of labor among cultivators, particularly along gender lines and the impacts, on a cultural level, of technological change on nori production. Technological change has had a profound impact on both the manner of nori production as well as the household division of labor and work and gender roles. Women play a key role in nori production today. With better understanding of such outward manifestations of culture and society we can bring the human dimensions of systems to bear in order to better manage these, and other natural resources.

Some additional information: A big breakthrough in closing the life-cycle for nori came in 1949 when Japanese researchers saw the publication of a British scientist, Dr Kathleen Drew-Baker, on the reproduction of a related species. Dr Drew-Baker is still honored in Japan for her findings, including by a memorial at Uto City, Japan (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Mary_Drew-Baker for an introduction). Thanks to my friend Choo Poh Sze for alerting me to Dr Drew-Baker’s work some years ago. Dr Delaney informs me that she has mentioned Dr Drew-Baker also in her thesis from which this paper is drawn.

See also this article on Dr Drew-Baker and nori culture from www.thenutgraph.com