Women shrimp traders in Mazatlan, Mexico. Photo: Maria Cruz-Torres
A recent paper published in Coastal Management (Contributions by Women to Fisheries Economies: Insights from Five Maritime Countries) investigates the contribution by women to fisheries economies in Mexico, Peru, Senegal, South Africa, and Vietnam.
Through an exhaustive review of data and literature on women and fisheries, the authors of this paper, Sarah Harper, Charlotte Grubb, Margot Stiles, and Rashid Sumaila, take stock of what is known about women in the fisheries sector of these five countries. From the available information, women appear to make substantial contributions to the fisheries sector and related economy; however, these contributions are not always visible in an economic accounting or policy sense. For example, indirect participation in all five countries was mainly measured by statistics for processing and retail activities, as little information was available for the many other activities of women that support fishing households, e.g., book keeping, gear repairs, and provisioning for fishing trips.
The paper highlights major gaps in the availability of sex-disaggregated data on participation in fishing activities through the fish value chain and suggests the need for improved national-level data collection for the development of gender-sensitive fisheries policies and programs.
Download the paper : link (Institutional access may be required; lead author’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )
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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
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Women filleting in Petatán, Mexico. The sight of women filleting alone or in groups in their courtyards is a common one. Photo. Carmen Pedroza-Gutiérrez, in Yemaya 50, “Empowerment through filletting.”
Yemaya, the gender and fisheries newsletter of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) has published its 50th newsletter. As usual, Yemaya is an excellent read from its varied and thoughtful articles, to the wry Yemaya Mama cartoons, to reviews and news.
The contents in this December 2015 edition are:
- Editorial by Nilanjana Biswas
- Analysis: Trade. “Women in today’s fisheries economy” by Meryl Williams
- Asia: Sri Lanka. “Widows’ struggles in post-war Sri Lanka” by Cornelie Quist
- What’s new Webby? Gendered Seas
- Africa: South Africa. “The long road to freedom” by Sharon Groenmeyer
- Regional: Africa. “Women in fisheries in Africa” by Serge Raemaekers & Jackie Sunde
- Through the years with Yemaya Mama
- Asia: India “Hard days and nights” by Ellen Thorell
- Profile. “Defending a way of life” by Sara García, Fisherwoman from Costa Rica
- Regional: Central America. “Women in Central America’s fisheries” by Vivienne Solis Rivera
- Regional: Asia. “Half the fishers in the world” by Nikita Gopal
- Milestones by Ramya Rajagopalan
- Latin America: Mexico. “Empowerment through filleting” by Carmen Pedroza-Gutiérrez
- Q&A. Interview of Kholiswa Fosana, Eastern Cape, South Africa, by Jackie Sunde
- Yemaya Mama cops out of COP21
- Book Review. “Our Mother Ocean: Enclosure, Commons,
and the Global Fishermen’s Movement” by Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Monica Chilese. Review by Nilanjana Biswas
Posted in Africa, Americas, Aquaculture, Asia, communication resources, Cornelie quist, Fish post-harvest, Gender, Global, ICSF, India, Men, Mexico, Nikita Gopal, Nilanjana Biswas, Regional, South Africa, Women