Category Archives: Global

“The Long Journey to Gender Equality” – GAF5 Volume published

Kerala fisher couple with cast net and scoop net. Photo: Sruthi P.

Kerala fisher couple with cast net and scoop net. Photo: Sruthi P.

We are delighted to announce the release of a Special Issue of Asian Fisheries Science journal, volume 29S, containing 12 papers, plus a guest editorial and other information based on GAF5 – the 5th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (2014, Lucknow, India).

The Special Issue is titled “The Long Journey to Gender Equality” and contains many practical and theoretical insights. In the Guest Editorial, Dr Nikita Gopal and her co-editors conclude that the “regular GAF events of the Asian Fisheries Society … show that more and more researchers are interested in studying gender and fisheries/aquaculture, both from among the social scientists and fisheries biologists. Thus the GAF events create a unique forum for social and natural sciences to meet and discuss, which is often not the case in other disciplines.”

We hope you enjoy and find useful this wide range of papers covering such topics as the impacts of film-making on the empowerment of women divers in Timor Leste, to the roles of resident and non-resident women in Barotse Floodplain fisheries in Zambia and the intricacies of women’s fish marketing  relations in Bihar India and in Cambodia, plus much more.

Visit this page to gain an overview of the Special Issue and download the whole volume or individual papers. LINK

Congratulations to all the authors!

 

 

 

Gender on the agenda at IIFET-2016

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Dr Cornelia Nauen delivers Prof. Stella Williams’ acceptance address to IIFET-2016 on the award of the IIFET 2016 Distinguished Service Award. Photo: IIFET.

The 2016 biennial Conference of the International Institution of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) (11-15 July, Aberdeen UK), recognized Professor Stella Williams’ by awarding her with its 2016 Distinguished Service Award (DSA).

The DSA announcement said that “Professor Stella Williams embodies IIFET’s goals of fostering global interaction between academia, trade, and government on the economics of fisheries policy and seafood trade. She has made significant contributions enabling individuals of different professional orientations and countries to exchange information, data, and perspectives on fisheries issues. Because she has devoted her long and productive professional career, as well as her personal energy, to building bridges between academia and governments, farmers, and fishers, to foster better research, collaboration, policy and equity, with a special focus on gender equity, Dr. Williams was selected as the recipient of this year’s IIFET Distinguished Service Award.” [To read Professor Williams inspiring speech, click here, and to see more on Professor’s Williams work on gender in fisheries, click here.] As Professor Williams was not able to attend IIFET, her acceptance address was delivered beautifully on her behalf by Dr Cornelia Nauen, the President of Mundus Maris. Professor Williams is the also the Vice-President of Mundus Maris. [See also the following links from Mundus Maris on IIFET-2016 and Prof Williams: Pic of the Month, and IIFET-2016.]

Congratulations, Stella, on the DSA, and thank you for all your commitment and untiring service

Following the gradual strengthening of gender research presentations in IIFET over the years (e.g., see IIFET-2012 report) IIFET-2016 also saw an increase in the exposure of gender research as judged by the papers presented. A Special Session (Gender Research as a New Frontier in Fisheries and Aquaculture Economics) was held over two normal conference sessions, plus a session on gender in the main conferences sessions, and several individual papers on gender in other sessions. In total, about 15 papers and a panel specifically addressed gender. An overview report will be made available in the near future.

A group of presenters and participants at the end of the Gender Special Session at IIFET-2016, 13 July 2016, Aberdeen. Photo: IIFET.

A group of presenters and participants at the end of the Gender Special Session at IIFET-2016, 13 July 2016, Aberdeen. Photo: IIFET.

The Special Session and other gender highlights were supported by grant funds from the USA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Fisheries) and the World Bank, for which IIFET is very grateful.

The support included the the selection by an expert panel of the inaugural Rosemary Firth Award, made possible by NOAA’s grant. This inaugural award was granted for the best gender presentation, but IIFET envisages that in future the award will be for best paper.

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On the prize podium (L-R)- Chikondi Manyungwa (Rosemary Firth Prize winner), Dan Holland (IIFET President) and Zahra Izzaturrahim (Highly Commended presentation) from the gender sessions at IIFET-2016. Photo: IIFET

Chikondi Manyungwa (Department of Fisheries, Lilongwe, Malawi) won the inaugural Rosemary Firth Award for her presentation, “An investigation of women participation in fish value chains and value chain governance in Malawi: a case of Msaka on Lake Malawi and Kachulu on Lake Chilwa.

IIFET also decided to make a Highly Commended Zahrah Izzaturrahim, Department of Anthropology, University of Diporegoro, Semarang, Indonesia for her presentation “Measuring the role of women in fisheries: A Case from Tambak Lorok, Central Jawa, Indonesia.”

It was very pleasing to see how strongly participants and presenters were engaged in the discussion and questions during the sessions and at social events.

 

 

Yemaya releases 50th issue

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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:

  1. Editorial by Nilanjana Biswas
  2. Analysis: Trade. “Women in today’s fisheries economy” by Meryl Williams
  3. Asia: Sri Lanka. “Widows’ struggles in post-war Sri Lanka” by Cornelie Quist
  4. What’s new Webby? Gendered Seas
  5. Africa: South Africa. “The long road to freedom” by Sharon Groenmeyer
  6. Regional: Africa. “Women in fisheries in Africa” by Serge Raemaekers & Jackie Sunde
  7. Through the years with Yemaya Mama
  8. Asia: India “Hard days and nights” by Ellen Thorell
  9. Profile. “Defending a way of life” by Sara García, Fisherwoman from Costa Rica
  10. Regional: Central America. “Women in Central America’s fisheries” by Vivienne Solis Rivera
  11. Regional: Asia. “Half the fishers in the world” by Nikita Gopal
  12. Milestones by Ramya Rajagopalan
  13. Latin America: Mexico. “Empowerment through filleting” by Carmen Pedroza-Gutiérrez
  14. Q&A. Interview of Kholiswa Fosana, Eastern Cape, South Africa, by Jackie Sunde
  15. Yemaya Mama cops out of COP21
  16. Book Review. “Our Mother Ocean: Enclosure, Commons,
    and the Global Fishermen’s Movement” by Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Monica Chilese. Review by Nilanjana Biswas

 

 

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.

Fishing out the Invisible

Women collecting oysters cultivated in the Qualidia Lagoon, Morocco. Photo: Giuseppe Bizzari, FAO.

Women collecting oysters cultivated in the Qualidia Lagoon, Morocco. Photo: Giuseppe Bizzari, FAO.

In the August 2015 issue of Samudra Report, the journal of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, Marie Christine Monfort describes her expedition to “fish out” what was happening for women in the fish sector. She also provides an abridged version of the recent Globefish Report, “The Role of Women in the Seafood Industry” (see our story) that was the result of her fishing expedition.

The Samudra Report article, “Fishing out the Invisible“, provides a good account of the search for facts on women’s roles and contributions, and their status in fisheries and aquaculture supply chains. It also reports on recent activities to address gender in the sector, including the work of the Asian Fisheries Society group that produces this website. Most seriously, given the economic factors that drive the fish sector and the importance of the private sector, Marie Christine could not find one private sector initiative on women’s empowerment or a corporate program that was directed at helping women.

Read the Samudra Report article here.

1-2-3: Counting the ways women access fish

Women fish processors in Sokone, Senegal. Photo: Robert Lee, FAO.

Women fish processors in Sokone, Senegal. Photo: Robert Lee, FAO.

In a recent FAO report (A Review of Women’s Access to Fish in Small Scale Fisheries), Angela Lentisco and Robert Lee have gone beyond the typical portrayal of women as fish processors and marketers have reviewed and categorized three main ways in which women access fish in small scale fisheries. First is primary access through fishing and financing/owning fishing operations; second is through close personal relationships including family; and third is through the normal purchases. By conceptualising women’s access in this more structured way, policy and action to assist women’s empowerment and equality in fish value chains can be better formulated. Angela and Robert first explored this approach in their paper resulting from their paper at the 4th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF4) – read their earlier paper here.

The report, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular 1098 can be downloaded at this link.

Abstract: Women play a critical role in every link of the value chain in small-scale fisheries, although their best-known roles are in processing and marketing of fish and other fishery products. This perception of the highly gender-segregated division of labour (men fishing / women processing) has shaped the generalized approach in supporting development initiatives for small-scale fisheries. More often than not, this approach targets men as fishers, and women as processors and marketers of fishery products. However, this generalization has also made fisheries governance blind to women’s other valuable inputs to the sector. In fact, their roles can and should go beyond postharvest and marketing. However, the lack of utilization of their additional contribution has deterred, for example, women’s participation in fisheries resource management and policy decision-making.

The present review aims to move policy attention beyond the generalized, and perhaps limited, perception of women as fish processors and marketers and in this way enhance their participation in fisheries resource management and decision-making. The study describes the different ways women have access to fish in small-scale fisheries: as primary users (when they fish by themselves or they finance fishery operations), secondary users (when they access fish through kinship or other close relationships), and tertiary users (when they use capital to buy fish directly from fishers or traders). The review provides case studies to illustrate some of the issues that tend to keep women in marginalized positions along the value chain. Factors and processes that can contribute to improve women’s participation and decision-making in small-scale fisheries, such as those that challenge conventional approaches based on traditional or “typical” gender roles and obsolete institutional arrangements, are also given. The document also discusses how participation can be improved by raising awareness on gender equality issues along the value chain through applying a gender lens, by providing appropriate support to women’s organizations, including formal recognition of their professional activities, by understanding the socioeconomic context and the particular needs of small-scale fisheries, by giving due attention to power and power relationships, and by taking greater account of the contribution of women in fisheries. As neither women nor men form homogenous groups, the challenge is even greater for women to have access to productive tools and services, which if secured can give them a greater say and control over fisheries resources, thereby increasing their social capital and financial capital. These reflections can be introduced in existing resource management arrangements such as co-management or community based management, and can probably empower women and improve their participation in fishery resource management decision-making.

The reflections in this review can and should be used as guidance and discussion material to develop interventions under the Global Assistance Programme in support of the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication.

FAO report highlights gender imbalance in fish industry

Worker in Marz, Iceland, factory, the only women created and led seafood exporting country in Iceland. Photo: Grapevine magazine, Iceland 2 Jan 2014.

Worker in Marz, Iceland, factory, the only women created and led seafood exporting country in Iceland. Photo: Grapevine magazine, Iceland 2 Jan 2014.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), through its GLOBEFISH unit on international fish trade, recently released a report – “The Role of Women in the Seafood Industry” – that highlighted the contributions and constraints on women through all levels and scales of the fish industry. The report, written by Marie-Christine Monfort, is a welcome addition to the global analysis of women in the industry and particularly focuses its attention on “the
widespread lack of consideration for their role and work in the seafood industry is, in many respects, disadvantageous to them and ultimately bars them from participating fully and equitably in the industry.” It is aimed to raise awareness in business leaders and policy makers.

In its general analysis and conclusions, much of what the report says will not be news to readers of this website, but the author makes her points well and strongly, for example in tables such as that below on “where are the women.”where are the women

Marie Christine Monfort at GAF5, Lucknow.

Marie Christine Monfort at GAF5, Lucknow.

In particular, the author, herself successful in the seafood industry, takes a private sector industry view that distinguishes it from the studies and reports of academics and government experts, with a strong focus on what is happening in companies of all sizes and in their workforces and management. She gives board and management numbers and employee number by gender for the top companies, and lists companies headed by women.

A unique feature comes in the second part of the report, namely the 6 case studies of Croatia, Egypt, France, Iceland, India and Senegal. Each country is analysed for the knowledge about women’s participation in the seafood industry, awareness of gender inequalities and corrective measures in the seafood industry. The picture is not encouraging, with the possible exception of Iceland where knowledge and awareness are high, but corrective measures to help women still largely lacking, although now the women have created their own supportive network.

The report can be downloaded from FAO: click here.

See also Marie-Christine Monfort’s presentation at GAF5.