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:
- Women in fishing communities on Lake Victoria
- Tenure rights of traditional fishing communities in Raigad, India
- Recognition of indigenous community-owned land in Nicaragua
- War-affected women in the fishing villages of the Mannar Coast,
- Self-regulation by women harvesters in the Gulf of Mannar, India
- Mandira Marine Extractive Region, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Transboundary issues and fishers – learning from India and Sri Lanka
- Transboundary issues and fishers – learning from the European Union
- Diversifying livelihoods for small-scale fishing communities in Uganda
- Pacific Fishing Company on Levuka Island, Fiji
- Migrant Chinese women workers employed in oyster shucking in Japan
- Growing violence and abuse in small-scale fisheries in South Africa
- Reclaiming the Marol fish market in Mumbai, India
- Impact of harbour fishing on fish trade in Kerala, India
- Impact of competition along Lake Victoria in Kenya and on inland
fisheries in Zambia
- Impact of industrialization on women in small-scale post-harvest
fisheries in South Africa
- Issues of cross-border trade for traditional women fish vendors in
- The risks of neglecting women in policy implementation
- Post-tsunami rehabilitation in Aceh, Indonesia
- Impact of mine pollution in Buyat Bay, Indonesia
- Matsyafed in Kerala, India – an apex cooperative for small-scale fisheries
- Impact of seasonal fishing ban on women fish traders in
- Marshall Point, a coastal indigenous fishing/farming community in
- Women fishers fight corruption in the Sunderbans, India
- An example of value chain analysis (VCA) (in Malawi)
- Public hearing on issues of women in the fish trade in Kerala, India
- Enabling women’s participation in meetings in Kigombe, the United
Republic of Tanzania
- Fisherwomen in Brazil organize for their rights
- Regional Fisheries Livelihood Programme for South and Southeast
- Mainstreaming gender in the BOBLME project
Download the full Handbook at this LINK.
Posted in Advocacy, Africa, Asia, Bangladesh, BOBLME, Brazil, Cambodia, Change, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Europe, FAO, FAO, UN Women, World Bank, IFAD, UNIDO and other multilateral, Fiji, Fish post-harvest, Fisheries, Gender, Gender and development, Global, Iceland, ICSF, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kerala, Malawi, Mekong, Men, Mumbai, Nicaragua, Nilanjana Biswas, Pacific, Seafood industry, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu, Tuna, Uganda, Value chain analysis, West Bengal, Women, Zambia
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
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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.
Posted in Chile, China, Fish post-harvest, Gender, Gender in the workplace, Japan, Marie Christine Monfort, Men, Norway, United Kingdom, Women
Seaweed harvesters, Bharathinagar, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: Shilpi Sharma (courtesy of ICSF)
To mark International Women’s Day 8 March 2016, Genderaquafish.org is very pleased to announce the launch of Discover-GAF, our new series of short overviews of topics and themes of relevance to gender in aquaculture and fisheries. The overview articles are short and founded on deep knowledge. They are written by authors who have studied and thought about the topics. The articles are not comprehensive academic reviews, but they do provide a few key references that will start the reader who wants to go further on the track of deeper discovery.
Our first two articles are on “Gleaning” by Danika Kleiber and “Women Divers” by Enrique Alonso-Población. These articles address two iconic topics that are often overlooked as forms of fishing by women. To encourage more investigation of these topics, our authors also challenge researchers with questions requiring research.
Brother and sister gleaning, Bilangbilangan, Bohol, Philippines, 2011. Photo: Danika Kleiber
The idea for a resource such as Discover-GAF was first conceived by Danika Kleiber and discussed at GAF5 in Lucknow, 2014. We have plans to eventually extend this series in many directions, including other parts of the fish supply chain, location specific overviews, themes such as governance and climate change.
We welcome your feedback, comments, corrections and offers to help write material and suggest topics for Discover-GAF. Please contact us on Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A fishing family in the Pichavaram mangroves, Tamil Nadu, India, taking part in a gendered ecological economics study by Piyashi DebRoy and colleagues. Photo: Piyashi DebRoy.
Charting the progress on gender equality in aquaculture and fisheries, this Asian Fisheries Science journal Special Issue gives a reasonably upbeat assessment, despite the huge challenges, especially for women.
Based on the 2013 4th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF4), Dr Nikita Gopal, the chief Guest Editor, said that “gender is now more firmly on some key policy agendas, is embedded in certain major normative international documents, such as the Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines, and is receiving early institutional, policy and donor support. Attention is also being given to methodological and methods development as more practitioners engage in gender work.” The Guest Editorial, however, points out that gender will not be fully integrated into programs and institutions until agencies face up to implementation challenges such as lack of leadership and resources, and the fish sector recognizes the worth of engendering fisheries. Dr Gopal pointed out that “the current position is still much better than when researchers and activists were still struggling to get gender on the agenda, which was the assessment by experts after the 2011 GAF3 Symposium.”
The Special Issue containing GAF4 papers can be downloaded for free , in total or by individual papers. Click here for the links.
Posted in Advocacy, Africa, AFS GAF events, Aquaculture, Asia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, CGIAR, Change, Conservation, disaster responses, Gender, Global, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kerala, M.C. Nandeesha, Nepal, Nikita Gopal, Philippines, Tamil Nadu, Women
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.
- 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
Posted in Africa, Americas, Asia, Costa Rica, Fish post-harvest, Fisheries, GAF5, Gambia, Gender, Global, Honduras, India, Japan, Men, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, The Gambia, Women
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.
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:
Posted in Africa, AFS GAF events, Aquaculture, Asia, Australia, B. Meenakumari, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Change, Climate Change, disaster responses, Events, awards, grants, employment, Fish post-harvest, Fisheries, Fishery or Aquaculture Type, Segment, GAF4, Gender, Gender and development, Gender in the workplace, Gendered labor studies, Global, Globalization, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kerala, Korea, M.C. Nandeesha, Malaysia, Men, Microfinance, Natural resource management, Nepal, Nigeria, Nikita Gopal, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Research, communication resources, Risk reduction, Sea cucumber or beche de mer, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu, Thailand, Timor Leste, United States of America, Vietnam, West Asia/Middle East, Women