Category Archives: Vietnam

Contributions by women in the fisheries of five major fishing countries

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: sjmharper@gmail.com )

See other media related to article:

Social development in seafood production

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Panel at the Seafood Industry and Social Development Conference, September 2015, Maryland, USA. Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit is second from left.

Brief report on the Proceedings of the Seafood Industry and Social Development Conference
21-22 September 2015, Annapolis, Maryland, USA
By Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit

In early 2015, NACA (Network for Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific) was invited by Oxfam/SFP/UNDP to participate in the Seafood Industry and Social Development Conference to present the work we are doing on gender in aquaculture, and the results of the USAID/MARKET Gender project. The conference was aimed to promote and encourage further work towards social development in seafood production. The Conference was held on 21-22 September 2015 at The Loews Hotel, Annapolis, Maryland, USA. It was attended by various actors along the seafood value chain, mainly from the US and Europe.

The conference was convened by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), Oxfam and the UNDP, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation (RF). The representative of the RF emphasized during the opening remarks, that the industry has to ensure the social and economic well-being of those who depend on the industry for their lives. There is an intersection between human livelihoods and natural ecosystems to meet food security and economic growth. The need for sustainable approaches to meet the demand for fish in the future as emphasized, considering that only 150 M tons could be produced but 230-250 M tons are needed to meet the demand for fish. The challenge is how to meet this difference. Small-scale fisheries was mentioned several times, in terms of livelihoods, diversified livelihoods and social safety nets. Efforts should focus on them, and it was suggested to promote financial innovations, with efforts having meaningful economic impacts and strengthened safety net. The Rockefeller Foundation recognizes the human development challenge, and they are willing to work with everyone to meet these challenges and achieve solutions.

Keynote speakers emphasized the role of the seafood industry in advancing social development. Gender equality and women empowerment were mentioned as key aspects to achieve social development. Dr Christophe Bene (CIAT/CGIAR) suggested that we should focus on the contribution of fish to food security and nutrition. The importance of women needs to be considered, as they are half of the labor force, especially in processing, factories, fish trading, and informal sectors. However, their contribution and involvement are oftentimes unrecorded, undervalued, and invisible in national statistics. There is gender bias both in and outside the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. It is time to create a positive narrative food security and nutrition. One of his recommendations was to consider women as a key entry point, and collecting gender disaggregated data is necessary to provide policy makers relevant information on the importance of women in the seafood industry. In addition to this, he also recommended the promotion and defense of labor rights, looking beyond the fish farmers. The fisheries and aquaculture sector needs to change our narrative, moving away from ‘crisis’ narrative to emphasizing the positive contribution of fish to nutrition. This will result in a new image of fish based on food security and nutrition and impact on health.

Other keynote speakers also made suggestion on how the industry can contribute to social development. One suggestion was to find ways to ensure that benefits are widely shared across the industry, especially among small scale producers and suppliers, women and marginalized groups. The UN Guiding Principles were also cited, wherein human rights in seafood industry concerns include forced labor, and impacts on women and children, consumer health, transportation, etc. In addition, a rights based approached is necessary to achieve a socially responsible seafood industry to end poverty and injustice. For Oxfam, their vision for change is to have synergies with other stakeholders, and to develop a more sustainable and socially responsible seafood sector. Producers need to have a role and a voice. Social concerns can be matched with environmental and economic concerns.

Gender focus, and women as half of the workforce was mentioned in some of the presentations, especially those from international organizations such as World Bank, and also by the various NGOs working among the small scale fisheries in developing countries. The Voluntary Guidelines for Small-Scale Fisheries was also presented, and the section of Gender Equality was pointed out, considered a first in a fisheries instrument.

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Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit presenting on NACA’s gender work at the Seafood Industry and Social Development Conference.

NACA’s presentation was on its gender programme, the newly launched Women, Youth and Aquaculture Development, and the results and recommendations from the recently concluded project on Thematic Studies on Gender in Aquaculture in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. This was a project implemented by NACA under the USAID supported Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge, Enterprise Development and Trade (MARKET) project. Participants were encouraged to work in partnership with NACA to reach the various groups of small scale producers and stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The remaining other sessions consisted of speakers from various organizations and companies involved in seafood production, trade, marketing, certification, and social development, presenting their activities and how they are involved or plan to involve in promoting social development. There is a high intention to be involved in social development and an interest in promoting gender equality throughout the value chain. However it is clear that much still needs to be done in equipping those interested with tools and mechanisms for them to apply a more gender sensitive and responsive approach in their activities.

Practical examples given by FAO included providing direct support of women to women’s organizations for example in the processing sector and in developing their capacities and skills. The Global Environmental Facility promotes equality across genders, promotes livelihoods and opportunities for women, and strengthening business skills to empower women’s organizations. World Bank tries to disaggregate gender data, looking for opportunities along the value chains to improve efficiency and make more money for those in the value chains, especially deficiencies in post-harvest where mainly the workers are women.

In conclusion, on the gender aspect part, it was recommended to not use the term “fisherman” as there are also women fishers, so it was suggested to use fisher folks instead. Governance is recognized as needed to have an enabling environment and the private sector is also a key actor in advancing social development in the seafood industry. The gender dimension was not really mentioned much in this conference so it was suggested to put women at the center of social development. Working in partnerships with others is also essential, including investing in the empowerment of small scale fisheries and labor industry, and promoting gender inclusiveness as it benefits business.

The majority of the presentations for the 2 day conference can be found here:

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

The Long Journey to Equality

Women weighing riverine fish catch, India. Photo: Lalit Tyagi.

Women weighing riverine fish catch, India. Photo: Lalit Tyagi.

We see some greater commitment to gender equality in policies and by institutions, but the position of women in mainstream and traditional value chains is still eroding despite new technologies accessible to women and new development approaches.

This was the conclusion of the full report of GAF5, the 5th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries. Based on presentations and discussions, the report explores five themes: (1) greater policy and institutional commitment to gender equality; (2) the eroding position of women in aquaculture and fisheries; (3) new technologies for women and new gender equality approaches; (4) diagnosing diversity and enabling action; and (5) GAF101, networks and GAF information.

Read the full report.

NACA and partners studying gender in aquaculture in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam

Mrs Xiem (Ca Mau, Vietnam), one of the largest crab farmers in Vietnam, and local women workers. Photo: Ha Thu http://hathutranslator.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/the-role-of-women-in-vietnamese-aquaculture/

Mrs Xiem (Ca Mau, Vietnam), one of the largest crab farmers in Vietnam, and local women workers. Photo: Ha Thu http://hathutranslator.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/the-role-of-women-in-vietnamese-aquaculture/

In 2012, the NACA (Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific) Governing Council put gender issues on the work programme as a cross-cutting issue (see our post). In 2013, NACA held a special workshop at GAF4, with Norad support, to develop ideas for gender mainstreaming at NACA (see our GAF4 Report for a short summary of the Workshop outcomes).

Early this year, the USAID-MARKET project in the lower Mekong countries, NACA and partners in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam combined to start the project: Thematic Studies on Gender in aquaculture in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam.

Read about this project and how it is progressing. Come to GAF5 in Lucknow in November )

 

 

SPC WIF Info Bulletin: coastal fisheries, women’s fishing, climate change and gender in development

Photo: SPC-WIF 23

Photo: SPC-WIF 23

We welcome the latest edition of the Secretariat for the Pacific Community’s (SPC) 23rd Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin.  The Editor, Veikila Vuki highlights that the contributions covers gender roles in coastal fisheries, women’s fishing activities in communities, climate change and gender issues in development. Read the latest issue online!

CONTENTS
  • Gender and change in the spotlight: Researchers must engage with grassroots groups. Williams M.J. (pdf: 153 KB)
  • Moving the gender agenda forward in fisheries and aquaculture. Williams M.J., Porter M., Choo P.S., Kusakabe K., Vuki V., Gopal N., Bondad-Reantaso M.(pdf: 117 KB)
  • Gender assessment of the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project . Whitfield S. (pdf: 567 KB)
  • How men and women use their time in Tuvalu: A time use study. Bernard K. (pdf: 817 KB)
  • Gender roles in the seaweed industry cluster of the southern Philippines: The DICCEP experience. Bacaltos D.G., Revilla N.N., Castañaga R., Laguting M., Anguay G., Ang D., Caballero G., Omboy A., Efondo K.M., Flamiano-Garde G.(pdf: 107 KB)
  • Gender roles in the mangrove reforestation programmes in Barangay Talokgangan, Banate, Iloilo, Philippines: A case study where women have sustained the efforts. Bagsit F.U., Jimenez C.N. (pdf: 87 KB)
  • Strengthening livelihoods: A Vietnamese fisheries programme helps improve women’s roles and participation in fisheries decision-making. Lentisco A., Phuong Tao H.T. (pdf: 88 KB)
  • Net gains — YouTube is a sea of resources for documentaries on women in fisheries. Rajagopalan R. (pdf: 112 KB)
  • Chronicles of oblivion — A documentary film on female fishworkers from Odisha, India. Anon. (pdf: 128 KB)
  • Two leaflets promote careers for women and men in fisheries. Anon. (pdf: 87 KB)