Category Archives: Malaysia

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!

Milestones for women in fisheries

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2016, Yemaya, the gender in fisheries newsletter of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, collected a set of regional summaries of milestones for women in fisheries. In her overview for this issue of Yemaya, the editor, Nilanjana Biswas, concluded that while we take stock of, and celebrate the achievements, we should also reflect on the long road of struggle ahead—a struggle for the rights of small-scale fisheries; for the rights of women engaged in fishing, fish trade and fish-work. 

Cartoon courtesy ICSF, Yemaya Issue 51.

Cartoon courtesy ICSF, Yemaya Issue 51.

Read these summaries, plus other articles at: Yemaya. Here are the contents.

  1. Counting on Women by Sarah Harper and Danika Kleiber
  2. Women in Aquaculture by Arlene Nietes
    Satapornvanit et al
  3. Women in Fisheries in Africa: 1999-2015 by Jackie Sunde
  4. A Historic Journey by Cornelie Quist and Katia Frangoudes
  5. Profile: A.G. Chitrani: Transforming others’ lives with her courage
    Leader from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka 
    by Herman Kumara
  6. Milestones: General Recommendation on the Rights of Rural Women by Ramya Rajagopalan
  7. Cooperative Action by Suhas Wasave and Arpita Sharma
  8. Evocations of the Sea by Vipul Rikhi
  9. Women in Fisheries in Asia: 1978 – 2016 by Meryl Williams et al
  10. Q & A: Mercy Antony of Kerala by Venugopalan N
  11. Yemaya Recommends: Film – Oceans, the Voice of the Invisible by Alain Le Sann (translated Daniele Le Sann).

Women in aquaculture and fisheries at World Aquaculture 2015, Jeju, Korea

Group of presenters and attendees at WA2015 Women in Aquaculture and Fisheries Session. Photo: Roy Palmer, AwF.

Group of presenters and attendees at WA2015 Women in Aquaculture and Fisheries Session. Photo: Roy Palmer, AwF.

These reports on the Women in Aquaculture and Fishery Session at WA2015, held at the ICC Jeju, Korea, 27 May 2015, have been written by Jin Yeong Kim, Bibha Kumari and Jenny Cobcroft. Thanks also to Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) Women’s Network, World Aquaculture Society, Roy Palmer and all the presenters.

Women in Aquaculture and Fisheries Presentations

By Jin Yeong Kim and Bibha Kumari

The World Aquaculture 2015 (WA2015) session on Women in Aquaculture and Fisheries was held in the ICC Jeju, Korea, in Samda hall ‘A’ from 11:30 am to 17:10 pm and chaired by Jin Yeong Kim and Bibha Kumari. Seven oral presentations were made in the session, and, in relation to women’s labor, one oral presentation was made in the cage culture session and added to this summary. The session also held a panel discussion, led by Jennifer Cobcroft and followed this by the presentation of the awards WAS-APC/AwF Travel grants and AwF Woman of the Month by Mr. R. D. Palmer, President of AwF and World Aquaculture Society Director.

The main points from the presentations were as follows:

Haenyeo in Jeju. Photo: Hye-Kyung Choa.

Haenyeo in Jeju. Photo: Hye-Kyung Choa.

1. Hye-Kyung Choa (Korea) introduced Jeju’s unique culture of the haenyeo’s life using a short film on these female divers of Jeju Island who collect seafood and seaweed without using any breathing equipment. Although these women follow a lifelong profession that has endured and been supporting their families for many centuries, present haenyeo are no longer passing diving skills to the next generation. Recently challenges to the traditional haenyeo culture is how to manage marine resources and find effective ways to pass down their community culture.

2. Seungmok Ha (Korea) showed that site-specific MSY of turban shell harvesting by fisherwomen tended to be high where the biomass of the brown algal species was generally high. To understand the causes of the declining stock of turban shell, a long-term program is required to monitor the status of algal species and environmental and human factors that impact on them.

Haenyeo, Jeju. Source: Hye-Kyung Choa presentation.

Haenyeo, Jeju. Source: Hye-Kyung Choa presentation.

Jin Yeong Kim presenting. Photo: Roy Palmer.

Jin Yeong Kim presenting. Photo: Roy Palmer.

3. Jin Yeong Kim (Korea)  summarized recent changes for fisherwomen’s contribution and to the small scale fisheries in Korea. It is a commonly emerging trend in the coastal long line, jigging and gill drift net fisheries of married fisher couples for husbands to drive a boat and operate fishing gear and for wives to support the netting and collecting of products on board on the fishing grounds. Traditionally, women did not work on the boats. Issues were concentrated on the women’s new perspectives on the environmental, social, economic and livelihood changes from a fishing community.

4. Arlene Satapornvanit (NACA)  explained the assessment of gender in aquaculture in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam under the MARKET project. Insufficient gender/sex-disaggregated data are available in aquaculture in these countries. Participation exist in varying degrees but very few women are in top positions. Therefore detailed research planning & design with statistics and data collections are needed. Information exchange among countries and practitioners, including curriculum and training development will be helpful to strengthen capacities.

Paul Liew, Bibha Kumari, Arlene Satapornvit, Roy Palmer at WA2015. Photo: Roy Palmer, AwF.

Paul Liew, Bibha Kumari, Arlene Satapornvit, Roy Palmer at WA2015. Photo: Roy Palmer, AwF.

5. Arlene Satapornvanit (NACA)  also explained women’s involvement in selected aquaculture value chains in three countries vis. Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, to identify and analyze the role and activities of women and men in the grow-out stage of aquaculture. In the case studies, she summarized, for a few women, their status apart from their families, the social and economic problems they face, and how they are successful in aquaculture in these countries.

6. Zumilah Zainalaludin (Malaysia)  expressed the need for the active involvement of women in aquaculture for future family wellbeing. For this there should be research networking for gender analysis based on activities for good aquaculture practices. She proposed a policy and program to the government that would enhance the development of the aquaculture industry. Sharing of gender training materials is also important.

7. T. V. Anna Mercy (India)  emphasized that engagement of women in ornamental fish culture would help the rural poor to earn a regular income and thus to remove the evils of poverty. Women entrepreneurs are now aware of the schemes for the promotion of ornamental fish culture in India. Thewomen can play a predominant role in ornamental fish culture. Successful Women could also manage both the household activities and the entrepreneurship together.

8. Young-Jin Park (Korea)  described abalone sea cage culture trends and women’s role in the related job sector in the largest abalone growing area of Korea, Wando, Jeonnam Province in the southwestern area of Korea. In order to empower women, information sharing, and a stable living environment, the women asked for the support of the government for the construction of a social infrastructure, such as, women only cultural lectures, community activities, technical training program, child care facilities, pediatrics, entertainment complex etc.

Panel session report 

by Dr Jennifer Cobcroft

The panel session commenced with Dr. Bibha Kumari summarizing the earlier presentations, especially for the benefit of those who could not attend the whole session.

A series of questions was asked of the panel members, with a focus on the WAS-APC/AwF travel award winners (Nantaporn Sutthi, Gladys Ludevese Pascual, Mya ZinOo), and then opened for a group discussion with the audience.

1. What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in aquaculture in your country?

Gladys indicated that traditionally women in the Philippines were focused on household tasks, but are more educated now and wanting to get out into the workforce.

Mya Zin discussed education, investment and cultural issues that are barriers to women being involved in aquaculture in Myanmar.
Nantaporn suggested that women in Thailand have more power in business now.

A comment from a male hatchery director from Indonesia was that there are many small hatcheries and the majority of their staff are women, largely because of their valued attention to detail. He noted that working in aquaculture grow out and in the field is problematic as these are both traditionally a “man’s world”.

The group discussed the need for women-oriented equipment to encourage their participation in different sectors. We also noted the need for us as individuals to change our mindset in relation to the role that we as women can play, and the way that we see other women in industry.

Our role is to encourage leadership skills in more women; leading by example and encouraging others.

2. What benefit would arise for the aquaculture industry by changing the situation, and if the challenge for women was overcome?

We noted that women tend to be more creative, and with education can complement the activities of men in aquaculture. The group discussed that through increased participation by women in aquaculture, production volume and efficiency could be increased. This would also improve the security of household and community nutrition. In Myanmar, the opportunity for internships has been provided by the USAID grant, allowing women to engage with industry and better understand opportunities and pathways to employment outside the university sector, which is where they traditionally stay in employment, if they stay in fisheries and aquaculture. Another of the men in the audience indicated that in Western culture, if more women become involved in the industry, they will promote seafood, leading to increased consumption – which is good for community nutrition and seafood sales. The group also discussed the need for a change in mindset of employers, across many cultures and countries, to consider the skills and value that women can bring to the industry. An observation from the Philippines was that about 10 years ago there was a difference in the proportion of women reaching higher management levels, with men and women both represented at middle management, but men being promoted to senior levels even when the women may be more competent. It was considered that this situation has improved, however the ‘glass ceiling’ still exists for many women.

3. What potential solutions do you see to addressing the challenge?

One proposed solution was access to investment funds and bank funding, promoting programs for women. Mobilizing investment through women was considered a likely way to increase aquaculture production.

Other discussion

One participant working with indigenous women in the Northern Territory in Australia asked the group for suggestions on how to encourage a balance for women who may be interested in fisheries and aquaculture. The women have many other cultural roles and they cannot always find time to engage in development programs. She also commented that payment or potential income from a new industry is not a primary motivator, and that cultural roles take precedence. This seems an area needing more discussion and insights from other researchers and development project leaders, specifically around how to find the right projects/opportunities and motivate engagement.

One academic reported on a study of her students over 20 years in the Philippines, and reported that in that time less than 1% of women trained in aquaculture were employed in aquaculture. It was suggested that while the current generation is suffering from differences in early childhood (expectations and roles being different according to gender), that this situation is now improving.

The Panel Discussion was then followed by the presentation of the awards by Mr. R. D. Palmer (AwF):

1. WAS-APC/AwF travel grants for 2 students and 1 senior category. They are Nantaporn Sutthi, Gladys Ludevese Pascual, Mya Zin Oo respectively.

2. AwF for Women of the Month Awardees (see AwF for details)

  • Dr Jennifer Cobcroft – December 2014
  • Dr T.V. Anna Mercy – February 2015
  • May Myat Noe Lwin – March 2015
  • Dr. Flower Ezekiel Msuya – April 2015 (Was not present)
  • Ass Professor Arlyn Mandas – May 2015

A vote of thanks for all for their contributions was given by Dr. Jin Yeong Kim.

Never too late to mainstream gender

Many agencies and projects find themselves in the same situation as the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem project (BOBLME), which realised that it had not taken gender into account in formulating its strategies and project priorities. To overcome this gap, BOBLME undertook an ex post analysis of the gender dimension of their work and what to do to catch up on including gender.

These efforts have now been condensed and presented in a new paper by Cecile Brugere called Mainstreaming gender in transboundary natural resources projects – the experience of the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) projectThe experience and the processes used in the BOBLME planning efforts for gender should be of value to other agencies who find themselves starting late to incorporate gender.

The paper is open access in the journal Environmental Development and can be be downloaded here.

Abstract: The Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) project aims to improve the lives of men and women depending on the fisheries resources of the Bay of Bengal. Despite the major role women play in fisheries, the contents of the project documents have however remained gender-blind. The paper proposes that the Theory of Change offers a compelling framework to consider how this could be redressed in an ex-post manner, enabling transboundary natural resources projects such as the BOBLME project to contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Practical steps are suggested. They include the elaboration of a high-level statement of political will to gender equality and the consideration of gender-sensitive actions and cross-cutting issues covering communication, gender-disaggregated data collection and governance. A commitment to impact through human capacity building and the allocation of adequate budgets for gender mainstreaming, is fundamental to embrace the change process that progress towards gender equality requires. In line with the Theory of Change, the development of a pathway to impact and use of gender- sensitive outcome mapping as a form of monitoring and evaluation are suggested as pivotal in capturing the changes expected from mainstreaming gender in the project and the project’s own influence in progressing towards gender equality in the region. The main- streaming approach proposed could be generalised to other transboundary natural resources projects of a similar institutional and operational structure to the BOBLME project.

Looking back at 2013

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

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

In 2013, the Genderaquafish.org website continued to develop as a global source of information sharing and news. Compared to 2012, the number of visitors grew by 16%, to over 17,000 for the year. The visitors came from even more countries than last year (163 countries, compared to 154 countries in 2012). The top 5 countries of our visitors were: India (3,695), USA (1,804), UK (1,124), Philippines (1,078), Malaysia (705).  Click here to see the complete report for 2013.

World map of visitors to Genderaquafish.org, 2013. source: WordPress Stats

World map of visitors to Genderaquafish.org, 2013. source: WordPress Stats

Summary table of visits by region 2013

By region, most visits came from Asia, followed by Europe and North America. The visits are no doubt driven not only by the interest in the topics on our website, but also by the fact that information is only in English and that internet access varies greatly across the world. We would welcome links with multi-lingual partners to share similar information and translate posts to mutual benefit.

Here is a snapshot of information from our 47 new posts and several new pages for the year!

REGIONS. Asia, Africa and Europe have been the regions most covered. Other regions were not forgotten. We covered Oceania, the Americas, and West Asia/Middle East. We even featured a story on Arctic fisheries.

THEMES. Many themes ran through our posts and events for the year. Just a few to highlight were: change, climate change, post-harvest, gender in the workplace, gendered labour studies and HIV/AIDS were just a few.

EVENTS. The main gender in aquaculture and fisheries events of 2013 that we reported were:

– the 4th Global Forum on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF4) in Yeosu, Korea; and
– the  Center for Maritime Research’s (MARE) People and the Sea conference held a session entitled ” Engaging Gender for Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods and Improved Social Wellbeing: Perspectives from the Global North and South,” in Amsterdam in June. 
 

PUBLICATIONS. We highlighted many new publications in our posts, including one of our own, the Special Issue of the Asian Fisheries Science journal containing papers and an overview from our 2011 GAF3 Symposium.

PEOPLE. We are endeavouring to give more profile to the leaders – the people with a passion to make a difference – who supply the news and lead the studies and projects. This is a relatively new initiative, so not all of our leaders are highlighted in the posts. You can a check out a few who are through this link: posts on people.

SOCIAL MEDIA. Our Facebook page, Twitter feed, Genderaquafish Google Group, Paper.li and Flickr media outreach is all integrated, although each has different, sometimes overlapping, audiences. all audiences continued to grow slowly. Piyashi Deb Roy and Danika Kleiber have stepped up to do the regular posts to the Google Group (a big thanks to both Piyashi and Danika!) and Angela Lentisco help with a sterling job tweeting during the GAF4 event [read the tweets for day 1, day 2, day 3] (a big thanks, Angela!). N.C Shyla gave tremendous support in the posts and webpages for GAF4 (a big thanks for your work, N.C.!). 

2014 promises to be another big year for gender in aquaculture and fisheries. Thank you all for your support as readers, contributors and commentators. Your contributions, suggestions and feedback are always welcome!

Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project to get serious on including gender

Ms Rani, wife of a fisher from Toothoor area in Kanniyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, India. Her husband, besides catching tuna, also catches sharks. Ms Rani was speaking in a stakeholder meeting convened by the BOBP-IGO to discuss the shark fisheries management plan.  Photo: BOBP-IGO

Ms Rani, wife of a fisher from Toothoor area in Kanniyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, India. Her husband, besides catching tuna, also catches sharks. Ms Rani was speaking in a stakeholder meeting convened by the BOBP-IGO to discuss the shark fisheries management plan. Photo: BOBP-IGO

Most marine and fisheries development projects are gender blind, even though, in recent years, they generally pay much more attention to reaching out to fishing communities.  What does a major, multi-country project do when it wants to get serious on overcoming its gender-blindness? For sure, the project partners face a steep learning curve, but the FAO-managed Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) project has taken the plunge. In 2012, it commissioned a major study by Cecile Brugere to help them work out where they stood and what to do. BOBLME has now published Dr Brugere’s report  – Mainstreaming Gender in the BOBLME Project: gender audit and recommended actions for mainstreaming a gender perspective – and it is a very useful guide with wider relevance than just BOBLME.  It is a veritable “how to” and literature review from which  new and even experienced practitioners can learn a lot. Also significant is that this is the first of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) supported Large Marine Ecosystem projects to undertake a thorough gender audit.

The Regional Coordinator of the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project (BOBLME), Dr Chris O’Brien told Genderaquafish.org that, ” even though BOBLME countries faced many challenges in tackling gender inequalities, now there is some clarity and guidance on what needs to be done. Moreover, the countries  are supportive of addressing gender considerations in a concerted way in the next five year phase of the Project.

Download the report: pdf_icon_smallMainstreaming gender in the BOBLME Project: Gender audit and recommended actions for mainstreaming a gender perspective in the BOBLME project and its Strategic Action Programme (SAP), By Cecile Brugere

http://www.boblme.org/documentRepository/BOBLME-2012-Socioec-02.pdf

 Ms Tanvi Vaidyanathan, Consultant working with the BOBP-IGO in the Gulf of Mannar Project.  In the picture, Ms Tanvi is delivering a lecture in the Regional CCRF Training programme. Photo: BOBP-IGO.

Ms Tanvi Vaidyanathan, Consultant working with the BOBP-IGO in the Gulf of Mannar Project. In the picture, Ms Tanvi is delivering a lecture in the Regional CCRF Training programme. Photo: BOBP-IGO.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This paper was prepared to support the mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the BOBLME Project and SAP. The gender audit of international and regional instruments the eight BOBLME partner countries are signatories, as well as national development and fisheries policies highlighted uneven progress in tackling gender inequalities and accounting of gender issues, overall denoting a cultural and institutional environment that may not be at all times conducive of gender mainstreaming initiatives. While the majority of the BOBLME Project documents audited were found to be gender-blind based on their sole contents, this was attributed to a lack of awareness rather than an intended oversight. Despite the relative advancement of the project, entry points to mainstream gender in the SAP were identified through:

  • The addition of a statement of political will or commitment to gender,
  • The consideration of gender-sensitive actions,
  • The addition of a section on cross-cutting issues covering gender training, communication, legislation, capacity building at field level, gender-disaggregated data collection and research on gender issues,
  • The consideration of incentives and accounting mechanisms,
  • The earmarking of a specific budget for gender-related activities at project level and strategic actions.
  • The addition of a pathway to impact.
  • The use of outcome mapping as a form of monitoring and evaluation.
  • The last two are seen as pivotal in capturing the changes that are expected as result of both mainstreaming gender in the project, and the project’s own influence in progressing towards gender equality.

In addition to these, key recommendations for future action by the BOBLME partner countries include:

  • Commissioning of a gender-sensitive review of legislation and regulatory frameworks in the BOBLME partner countries,
  • Following through the mainstreaming of gender in the NAPs, mirroring what has been proposed to mainstream gender in the SAP,
  • Tackling gender-disaggregated data collection as soon as possible,
  • Ensuring the continuous provision of gender inputs throughout the project duration,
  • Strengthening the participatory processes undertaken so far by the project,
  • Avoiding falling in the Women in Development/efficiency rhetoric and maintaining a focus on the addressing of gender issues and inequality,
  • Supporting gender training and capacity building at all levels, beyond the life of the project.

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: