Category Archives: Philippines

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

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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

GAF6: Celebrating the Event and the Prize Winners

 We are delighted to publish the names of the GAF6 prize winners, as announced on 6 August at the Closing Plenary Session of the 11th Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum in Bangkok, Thailand (see also our page with a brief overview of GAF6 and the announcement of the winners). Congratulations to all the prize winners!
The winners are (top row, left to right) Afrina Choudhury, Alexander Kaminski, Mary P. Barby Badayos-Jover; (bottom row left to right) Anindya Indra Putri, Khamnuan Kheuntha amd Benedict Mark Carmelita.

The winning presenters are (top row, left to right) Afrina Choudhury, Alexander Kaminski, Mary P. Barby Badayos-Jover; (bottom row left to right) Anindya Indra Putri, Khamnuan Kheuntha amd Benedict Mark Carmelita.

GAF6 M.C. Nandeesha Best Presentation Award

  • Afrina Choudhury: “Women’s empowerment in aquaculture: Case studies from Bangladesh”

GAF6 Highly Commended Presentations

  • Alexander Kaminski: “A gendered value chain analysis of post-harvest losses in Barotse Floodplain, Zambia”
  • Mary Barby P. Badayos-Jover: “Security in adversity: coastal women’s agency in the aftermath of Haiyan”

GAF6 Student Presentation Awards

  • Khamnuan Kheuntha: “The adaptability to shock in small-scale fishing community: case studies Bang Ya Preok sub-district, Samut Sakorn Province”
  • Anindya Indira Putri: “The survival story of wife in securing household’s economy in fishing community of Pemalang Regency – Indonesia”

11AFAF Student Poster Award, Gender

  • Benedict Mark Carmelita: “Attitude Towards Mariculture Among Men and Women in Mariculture Areas in the Philippines”

Learn more on the GAF6 outcomes here and here.

DrNoi-01-GAF-101-Gp-Photo

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).

Reflections on gleaning

BrotherSisterGleaningBilangbilangan,Bohol,Philippines,2011-DK

Brother and sister gleaning, Bilangbilangan, Bohol, Philippines, 2011. Photo: Danika Kleiber

By Margaret (Nonas) Kunkel, Masters Student, Asian Studies, Murdoch University, Australia. E-mail: mnonas@iinet.net.au

Also see our overview of gleaning and gender: Discover Gleaning

The Philippines is one of Southeast Asia’s many diverse cultural regions, and together with other Asian nations is in an area that has gone through tremendous changes, economic, social and environmental. Changes which have occurred through not only local policy but from colonial times, through to the present concept of globalism[1]  The poorest members of society live in agricultural areas and work as farmers or fishers or in urban cities work in the informal sector. One of the important areas of employment for the unskilled worker due to its many coastal, lake and inland waterways is the fishing industry.

From coastal fishing which has almost destroyed the sea gypsies of the country to small scale fisheries women are important members of this industry. They can work close to their homes, choose the hours they want and don’t require a lot of gear, whilst their children can go along with them so childcare is not necessary. Also where spiritual or gender roles prohibit women partaking in certain employment, such as fishing in boats, gleaning is an ideal way to supplement the family income. Women are not restricted by biological means but can be restricted by cultural norms. Women collect what is on the bottom of the waterways, the invertebrates whose habitats can be in reefs, mangroves and seagrass generally using their hands to collect such items as octopus, squid, prawns, crab, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. These practices are often done at night with torches or lanterns to see the catch.

Gleaning according to Klieber[2] who did research in the Bohol region, is rarely counted however when statistics are being looked at to determine how many people are involved in the fishing industry. Marine protected areas (MPAs), restricting the areas where women can glean, and the views of other stakeholders, government, big business and such also affect their efforts. Promoting gender equality is the most important part of alleviating poverty and creating equality. Programs, including women’s participation, using local knowledge and cultural adaption, community controlled MPAs which restrict ‘Malthusian’ overfishing of the local commons is one way at least to reclaim equality for many workers in the small scale fishing industry.

On Batasan Island, one of the six island Barangays of the municipality of Tubingen in the Bohol region of the Philippines, women and children glean shells, seaweed etc at low tide to support household income. This may be necessary as the women often spend their household income on illegal gambling because they are bored.[3] One negative effect of these practices is that some families force their children to leave school to help them with the gleaning, thus affecting their children’s education. School attendance in the barangays is extremely low which in turn leads to a cycle of poverty as the children eventually have to resort to the same methods of earning an income in the future.[4]

[1] Hofman, B, J Nye, S Rood & V Nehru, 2012. Economic and Political Challenges in the Philippines. http://carnegieendowment.org/2012/04/27/economic-and-political-challenges-in-philippines

[2] Kleiber, DL. 2014. Gender and Small-Scale Fisheries in the Central Philippines. University of British Colombia, PhD Thesis. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286084034_Gender_and_small-scale_fisheries_in_the_Central_Philippines

[3] Gonzales E & Savaris J 2005. International Seafood Trade: Supporting Sustainable Livelihoods Among Poor Aquatic Resource Users in Asia (EP/R03/014). Output 2 Marine Ornamentals trade in the Philippines and options for its poor stakeholders Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd, Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA), and the STREAM Initiative.

[4] Macfadyen, G., R Banks, M Phillips, G Haylor, L Mazaudier & P Salz. 2003. Output 1 Background paper on the International Seafood Trade and Poverty. Prepared under the DFID-funded ECPREP project (EP/R03/014) “International Seafood Trade: Supporting Sustainable Livelihoods Among Poor Aquatic Resource Users in Asia”. Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd (UK), Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific and STREAM Initiative.

2015: our year in review

 

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

Wishing all our readers and contributors a healthy, productive and happy 2016!

Looking back on 2015, the Genderaquafish.org website continued to serve a large and very diverse range of people in 163 countries and territories in all regions. Our top 5 countries for readers were: India (2,973), USA (2,673), Philippines (798), Australia (607) and South Korea (537).

Through these electronic means, we hope that more and more people are becoming aware of activity and progress in gender equality in aquaculture and fisheries.

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Where our readers came from in 2015 – 163 countries and territories.

 
Picture1Genderaquafish.org visits by region are shown in the table. You may also wish to read the annual report provides by our hosts, WordPress.com: https://genderaquafish.org/2015/annual-report/.

Regions

You can read our posts by region. Asia and Africa were the regions on which we presented the most information. Check out our stories on other regions also: Oceania, the Americas, and Europe. We also covered a wide range of global themes and information.

Social Media

Although our total number of visitors to the website did not grow from last year, we experienced very good growth in the people “liking” our Facebook page (649 likes now) and starting to follow us on Twitter (212 followers). We invite you to join us on these sites: Facebook GAF, and Twitter @Genderaquafish.

Events

In 2015, we reported on two events that included gender sessions or papers, namely the World Aquaculture Society annual conference in Jeju, Korea and the  Seafood Industry and Social Development Conference in Washington, DC.

In 2016, we will be reporting on the 6th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (August, Bangkok), and the gender session at the International Institution for Fisheries Economics and Trade (July, Aberdeen). Keep abreast of planning for these events @ 2016 GAF Events.

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.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2015: Make it Happen!

NACA-AwFThis International Women’s Day we are pleased to share a heartening and forward looking set of messages from Asian women in the aquaculture sector. The presentation comes courtesy of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific and Aquaculture without Frontiers

Dr Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit

Dr Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit

Click on the picture above to launch the slide show, which starts with the challenges and shows the spirit of women succeeding in their lives, businesses and careers in aquaculture.

Download all the images in PDF here. The project to compile the personal accounts was led by our forward-looking colleague Dr Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit.

Here are some snippets from the quotes:

  • Meryl Williams (Australia) – the challenges of growing gender inequity
  • Gina Regalado (Philippines) – women in aquaculture are a special breed ….
  • Ms Saovanee V (Thailand) – I make my own decisions as farm manager
  • Ms Siyarut Isarawongchai (Thailand) – women have the right to do what they want. We can discuss and help each other.
  • Dr Amonrat Sermwatanakul (Thailand) – trains smallscale ornamental fish farmers, founded DrNoi.com for ornamental fish farming industry
  • Prof Alice G. Ferrer (Philippines) – I conduct research in aquaculture to look for evidence to inform decision/policy makers
  • Dr Supranee Chinabut (Thailand) – women in Thai Department of Fisheries have equal rights to work and be promoted.
  • Mrs Mam S. (Thailand) – I can do everything that a man can do in the farm. People here perceive me as economically better-off.
  • Dr Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay (Philippines) – I dream of gender-responsive work spaces along upgraded fisheries and aquaculture value chains.
  • Nguyen Thi Kim Quyen (Vietnam) – I am proud of my contribution to fisheries education in my country.
  • Dr Malasri Kumsri (Thailand) – I am confident we women have made significant contributions and progress
  • Dr Temdoung Somsiri (Thailand) – aquatic animal health profession is favorable to women
  • Ms Sunee Kanrith (Thailand) – when I visit my farm, I can interact with my manager and workers without any difficulty.
  • Ms Sirisuda Jumnongsong (Thailand) – my expertise in research and knowledge generation can contribute to successful aquaculture and fisheries development
  • Dr Puttharat Baoprasertkul (Thailand) – women make good researchers
  • Dr Melba G. Bondad-Reantaso (Philippines) – the scope of my aquatic animal health responsibilities for FAO takes me from farmers to ministers