Category Archives: Asia

Expert panel recommends promoting wider opportunities for women in giant freshwater prawn

Drs Malasri Khumsri, Amonrat Sermwatankul and Jarvey Demaine, the expert panel on gender and giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium) farming  at the Giant Freshwater Prawn 2017 Conference, concluded that, while women’s involvement in low-cost marginal occupations was well-known, the range of opportunities for women in the value chain was much wider and these had to be identified and promoted. The panel session was the first formal activity of the recently launched Asian Fisheries Society Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section and was supported by the Thailand Department of Fisheries, Asian Institute of Technology and the Giant Freshwater Prawn 2017 Conference.

The panel discussion provided a platform for development of a community of people committed to equitable and effective cooperation among researchers and academics, technicians, fisheries officers and non-governmental organizations in research and practice on gender in aquaculture and fisheries and explore the ways to promote gender equitable and sustainable livelihood opportunities in GFP value chains.

The panel examined the gender arrangements in Bangladesh and Thailand (see the report), and, in the case of Thailand, suggested the way forward.

Read the report of the panel session here.

Yemaya: gender equality in small-scale fisheries is a struggle at two levels

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Sally Barnes runs an artisanal fi sh smoking business. Through the smoking business, she added value to her husband’s catches and increased the family income. Source: Yemaya and WWW.WOODCOCKSMOKERY.COM

The first 2017 issue of Yemayathe gender and fisheries newsletter of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), recognizes that implementing the gender equality provisions of the Voluntary Guidelines on Small Scale Fisheries is a struggle at two levels. The first struggle is in the household and community, and the second is the level of the state and other stakeholders. Many of articles in this issue of Yemaya amplify on this theme.

  •  World Fisheries Day: Africa – Sustainability through unity by Béatrice Gorez
  • What’s New Webby? By Ramya Rajagopalan
  • Ireland: Independent and happy by Sally Barnes (see photo)
  • Milestones:  UNESCO inscribes haenyeo culture on Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Ramya Rajagopalan
  • Network –  An uphill task by Marja Bekendam de Boer and Katia Frangoudes
  • Tanzania – Study time by Ali Thani and Lorna Slade
  • Profile – Gilda Olivia Rojas Bermudez: In defence of rights and culture by Vivienne Solis
  • India – Anjali: Woman of the waters by Sujoy Jana and Santanu Chacraverti
  • Asia – Round table of women in fisheries (Goa) by Mariette Correa
  • Q & A – Interview with Mercy Wasai Mghanga, fish trader and Chairperson, Bamburi Beach Management Unit (BMU) and Vice-Chairperson, Mombasa County BMU network by Hadley B. Becha
  • Yemaya Mama – Cartoon – “Gender equality begins at home”
  • Yemaya Recommends – Review: Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in fisheries and aquaculture (FAO) by Ramya Rajagopalan

Download the whole issue of articles at this link.

 

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

Economics, trade analysis of fish value chains lacking good gender information

The 2016 conference of the International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade addressed how to incorporate the gender dimension into fish value chain analysis, especially when very limited gender information is available. The report of the gender sessions are now online.

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Woman at Tambak Lorok, Central Jawa, Indonesia, brings two yellowfin tuna ashore. Photo: Zahrah Izzaturrahim.

The 14 presentations and discussions on gender at IIFET-2016 highlighted that sex-disaggregated data and indicators must be improved. Using whatever information they could collect, experts presented gender analyses of value chains in Africa (Malawi and Nigeria), Asia (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand), North America (Mexico) and the Pacific (Solomon Islands), and global efforts on fisheries performance indicators and data sets. The presenters and participants discussed how, in these value chains, women are critical to adding value to fish, although within the household and society, ultimately men still make most of the key household decisions, sometimes despite interventions that seek to empower women. The gender report concludes by making some suggestions to IIFET in its future work on gender in fisheries economics and trade.

Read more the full report on the gender papers at IIFET-2016 here.

4th Anniversary of Dr M.C. Nandeesha

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Dr M.C. Nandeesha and Prof M.S. Swaminathan together during a 2011 conference in Chennai on mangrove conservation. Photo: Piyashi DebRoy.

Dr. Mudnakudu C. Nandeesha (1957-2012), who instigated many women/gender in aquaculture and fisheries initiatives, passed away on 27 December 2012. On the 4th anniversary of his passing, we pause to remember him and acknowledge his contributions on many fronts, including on gender awareness and action.

Dr Nandeeshabegan his work in aquaculture research and development in Karnataka State, India, and was then influential in fish breeding in Andra Pradesh. From India, he moved on to work in aquaculture and development work in Cambodia and Bangladesh, before returning to become a leading aquaculture educator in universities in Tripura and Tamil Nadu, India. Along the way, Nandeesha became very engaged and influential in institution building, through professional societies such as the Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch, the Asian Fisheries Society, the World Aquaculture Society and Aquaculture without Frontiers, among others. He was concerned with improving the professionalisation of fisheries and aquaculture, infrastructure and bringing women and men farmers into collaboration with scientists (see his regular “Farmers as Scientists” articles in NACA’s Asian Aquaculture magazine from about 2002 to 2004: LINK).

See our previous articles on Dr M.C. Nandeesha. LINK

“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.