Category Archives: Sri Lanka

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.

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.

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:

How to Mainstream Gender in Small Scale Fisheries: Lessons from Experience

Learning better household budgeting, Cambodia. Photo: RFLP

Learning better household budgeting, Cambodia. Photo: RFLP

The FAO-Spain Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia has taken their more formal gender materials (especially the RFLP gender mainstreaming manual) and their on the ground experience and produced this attractive, easy to read and yet very rich guide to what to do.

Get the guide here: Download

The clear lessons from experience include:

1. Don’t get lost in translation (of technical gender terms)

2. Think gender from the start

3. Study first, then decide

4. Consider quotas for women’s participation

5. Take the time and effort (and get the men involved)

6. Consider participation of women in traditional ‘men’s’ activities

7. Beware the double burden

8. Be flexible (make training convenient for women)

9. Get the right support

10. Alternative fisheries livelihoods are often women’s livelihoods

11. Collect gender-disaggregated data

12. Spread the good word

Infographics: Using Pictures to Tell the (Data) Story

Vietnam co-managementThe Spain-FAO Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and South East Asia (RFLP) started its work in 2009 by undertaking comprehensive baseline studies in its selected coastal project sites in Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. RFLP published the baseline survey reports in traditional formats. Now, RFLP has turned the detailed reports into a series of infographic reports to give a wider range of readers a faster and more visual way of accessing the wealth of materials they contain.

RFLP is one of the rare fisheries projects to incorporate a gender component (see Angela Lentisco’s overview paper on this from GAF3, plus papers and powerpoints from Nguyen Dang Hao, Rosario Segundia Gaerlan and colleagues, Bandara Dissanayke and Heng Ponley). The interest in the gender dimension is reflected in the reports which each look into the roles of women and men in the local fisheries and their supply chains, and respective roles in decision making, and knowledge of livelihood options.

The RFLP sites for each country are:

Cambodia: Kampot and Kep, Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong. Infographic. Report

Indonesia: Kupang District, Kupang Municipality, Alor District and
Rote Ndao District (Province of Nusa Tenggara Timur) Infographic, Report

PhilippinesDapitan City, Rizal and Sibutad, Dipolog City, Katipunan, Manukan and Roxas, Jose Dalman, Leon Postigo, Liloy, Salug and Sindangan (Zamboanga del Norte Province) Infographic, Report I, Report II, Report III, Report IV

Sri Lanka: Puttalam estuary, Negombo and Chilaw lagoons (west coast) Infographic, Report

Timor-Leste: Baucau, Dili, Bobonaro, Covalima and Oecusse districts Report

Vietnam: Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam (central Vietnam) Report

All RFLP files are now archived on the FAO site: see http://www.fao.org/fishery/rflp/en

Overcoming Gender Inequalities in Fish Supply Chains

Panelists in IIFET Gender and Value Chains Session, July 2012.

“Gender equality thinking should not focus just on the numbers of women and men in fish supply chains”, said Gifty Anane-Taabeah (Ghana), the final panelist on Overcoming Gender Equalities in Fish Supply Chains. The panel and two presentation sessions (Markets and Value Chains for Small Aquaculture Enterprises and Looking at Fish Supply Chains with a Gender Lens) were held on the first day of the 2012 conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Rather, Gifty contended, “the overall aim should be how to empower women and men in supply chains to boost overall productivity.”

In July 2012, the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) held its biennial conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  On the agenda, thanks to IIFET and the Aquafish CRSP, were sessions that included or focused on gender in aquaculture and fisheries, especially on value chains for small scale aquaculture and fisheries. The reports from the sessions are now starting to appear on the conference  repository website (https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/32231).

Read these reports for a start (others to be posted on the site):

VALUE CHAINS SESSION INTRODUCTION by Dr Hillary Egna: download here

SUMMARY OF THE GENDER AND VALUE CHAINS  sessions and papers by Presenters and Meryl Williams: download here

The above reports  include summaries of papers of global reach and more specific regional and country studies from:

AFRICA: Lake Victoria, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Uganda

ASIA: India (including Kerala), Sri Lanka

Visit the AquaFish CRSP gender page for more.

Papers that can be downloaded are:

  1. M.L. Adeleke and J.A. Afolabi. Appraisal of Fresh Fish Marketing in Ondo State, Nigeria.
  2. Salehe, Mwanahamis; Mlaponi, Enock; Onyango, Paul O.; Mrosso, Hilary D.J. Contribution of Lake Victoria Dagaa Fishery in East and Central African Fish Trade.
  3. Olufayo, Mosun. The Gender Roles of Women in Aquaculture and Food Security in Nigeria.
  4. De Silva, Achini; Bjorndal, Trond; Lem, Audun. Role of Gender in Global Fishery Value Chains: A feminist Perspective on Activity, Access and Control Profile.
  5. Masette, Margaret. Sun-dried Mukene (Rastrineobola argentea) Value-Chain Analysis in Uganda.
  6. Cheke, Abiodun. Women in Fish Value Chain in Nigeria.