Category Archives: AFS-Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section (GAF)

From “women do fish” to “women do participate and lead”

Slowly over the last few decades, the number and type of organisations representing the interests of women in fisheries and aquaculture have begun to grow and diversify. Little is written about this welcome growth of activity and so the new FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular by Enrique Alonso-Población and Susana Siar (Link) “Women’s participation and leadership in fisherfolk organizations and collective action in fisheries: a review of evidence on enablers, drivers and barriers,” is a very welcome addition to the literature.

The Circular begins with a well considered review of the rationale behind women’s collective action and organisation, and whether and how this might relate to their empowerment. Given the plethora of conceptualisations of empowerment, however, the authors decide not to superimpose any particular version of empowerment on their analysis, but to accept the bottom line that if women are not organised and not participating in the institutions of the sector, then definitely this is a sign of their marginalisation and lack of access to specific resources.

In a historical terms, women’s participation has long been recognised and even celebrated, but the authors document that, for example, although women in the Spanish Galician fisheries have been visible for over 100 years, only in the 1980s did a series of management and political changes begin to professionalise their work and give them actual control over their industry. Hence, the concept of getting beyond the descriptives of “women do fish” and onto “women do participate and lead.”

Using an extensive literature analysis, the authors first delve into the diverse array of institutions that enable and foster women’s participation in collective action and organizations. These range from: government institutions, non-government organisations, development aid and conservation projects, religious organisations, academia, endogenous mobilization among groups of women identifying with their professional work, e.g., the women divers of Japan and Korea, and Norwegian fishermen’s wives, the catalysing drive of individual leaders, and events that created unexpected chances. Particularly welcome is the access the Circular gives to literature in languages other than English, e.g., the Brazilian and other South American examples.

Having explored the diversity of women’s organisations, the authors recognise that the endogeneous and external drivers for organizing can be classified into a few familiar categories, especially: dwindling resources and securing management roles, sectoral modernisation, the imperative to secure fishing rights, economics, the drive to secure family well-being, and the drive for women’s rights.

Despite the positive feel that comes with uncovering such a rich stream of women’s collective action, the authors are firm in their desire not to leave us thinking that the problems are beginning to be solved. Problems range from governments that will not accord women rights to the women’s own individual aims and competitiveness overcoming the benefits of collective action.

Overall, this Circular is highly recommended reading!  Here is the Link.

Alonso-Población, E. and Siar, Susana V. 2018. Women’s participation and leadership in fisherfolk organizations and collective action in fisheries: a review of evidence on enablers, drivers and barriers. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1159. Rome, FAO.

ABSTRACT: The increased recognition of the multiplicity of roles played by women in, and their crucial the fisheries sector exists in stark contrast with the low presence of women in fisherfolk organizations around the globe, and the lack of access to decision-making positions in many formal fisheries-related organizations. This paper summarizes analyses of a global literature review on women in fisherfolk organizations. The aim of the study was to identify positive examples and lessons learned by pointing to the drivers – as well as the enablers and entities identified in the literature – that have a key role in fostering increased women’s participation and leadership in collective action in fisheries. State institutions, social movements and civil society organizations, development and conservation projects, religious movements, academia, endogenous mobilization, charismatic individuals and coincidences have been identified as the key enablers of women’s participation in collective action. Dwindling resources and the need to secure management roles, modernization, the allocation of fishing rights, economic changes, family welfare and women’s rights, are the main drivers identified by the authors as catalysers of women’s engagement in collective action. Finally, the paper identifies some of the barriers faced by women to gain equal access to organizations and decision-making. Although more research on the topic is required, there seems to be consensus on the positive effects for women arising from their engagement in modes of collective action.

All GAF-India presentations now online

We are pleased to announce that all the slide presentations from GAF-India, held 21-24 November 2017 during the 11th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum, Kochi, India, are now available online. Check them out on this page: LINK

Dry fish market, India. Photo: Ujwala Jaykisan Patil, Maharashtra Machhimar Kruti Samiti, Maharashtra, India. Presentation in the Special Workshop on Challenges in the Implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on Small Scale Fisheries (SSFVG) of FAO in South Asia, led by ICSF.

Thank you to Sijitha of CIFT for uploading the presentations.

Gender Section officially launched in Kochi

We are pleased to share some photos of the official launch of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society in Kochi on 21 November 2017, as part of the Inaugural Function of the 11th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum, and as a prelude to GAF-India.

02. Countdown to the launch of the GAF Section logo.

Click on the LINK to see the photos.

Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries – Expanding the Horizons

Visit the GAF7 website: http://www.gafconference.org/

Download the GAF7 brochure: Brochure link

Submit your abstracts, session and training workshop proposals by April 30See you at GAF7!

Sponsorship letter banner

“Engendering Security in Fisheries and Aquaculture” Special Issue of Asian Fisheries Journal online

Special Issue of Asian Fisheries Science journal, Volume 30S, has just been released online, presenting 25 papers, plus a Guest Editorial and other information based on GAF6 – the 6th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (2016, Bangkok, India).

The Special Issue is “Engendering Security in Fisheries and Aquaculture.” Dr Nikita Gopal, Chief Guest Editor of the Special Issue, and her co-editors, highlight that, as applied research, “most of the work published represents on-the-ground efforts to empower women and men to improve their livelihoods. These applied studies are complemented by others of a deeper theoretical and more exploratory nature addressing women‟s and men‟s personal perceptions of themselves within the fish sectors.

The papers cover many angles, including the impacts on fishermen’s perceptions of their masculinity under strict new fisheries regulations, women’s and men’s strategies and niches in aquaculture, a large tuna port, following a major land reclamation project, a tsunami and in seaweed production. In exploring the paucity of sex-disaggregated data, aquaculture publishing by women, and women’s needs after disasters, the papers range from global in scope, to the national and local.

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!

GAF-India Prizes and Launch of GAF Section at 11IFAF

GAF-India was held in Kochi, Kerala, India from 21-24 November 2017. Previously, the prize winners of the M.C. Nandeesha Photo Competition were announced (link). Now we are happy to announce the student prize winners for GAF-India presentations and posters, and the winner of the first Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch Prof. M.C. Nandeesha Gender Justice and Equality Award.

See photos and details of all the prize winners here.

Winner of First Prize, Best Student Presentation at GAF-India, B.M.R.L. Basnayake, receiving her prize from Dr J.K. Jena, President of Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch and Asian Fisheries Society, at the closing ceremony 11IFAF, 24 November 2017, Kochi, India.

BEST STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

1st Prize: B.M.R.L. Basnayake and D..M. De Silva – “Gendered Timeline of the Market Landscape of the Fisheries Industry in Sri Lanka.”

2nd Prize: Asha S. Karunaratne, I.C. Hettiarachchi and D.A.M. De Silva – “Gender Sensitive Value Chain Selection: Fish, Banana and Cinnamon, Which Provide Best Opportunities for Women?”

BEST STUDENT POSTERS

1st Prize: Mrudula, K.M., P.K. Sajeenamol, Jiswin Joseph, M.V. Neelima, Bindu J., S Sreejith, Sajesh, V.K., and Nikita Gopal– “Traditional Fish Recipes of Fisher Households and Their Significance.”

2nd Prize: Manju Lekshmi N., Archana G., Saly N. Thomas and Leela Edwin – “Rural Women Participation in Pre and Post-Harvest Operations of Stakenet (Estuarine Set Bag) along Aroor Fishing Village, Alappuzha, Kerala.”

ASIAN FISHERIES SOCIETY INDIAN BRANCH: PROF. M.C. NANDEESHA GENDER JUSTICE & EQUALITY AWARD 2017

Dr Meryl J Williams, Honorary Life Member, Asian Fisheries Society, “In recognition of her pioneering and sustaining efforts towards drawing international attention and developing impacting interventions in  gender justice and equality in the Asian Aquaculture and Fisheries sector.”

Save the date: GAF-7 18-20 October 2018, @ AIT Bangkok

Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries: Expanding the horizons

059. A fisherwoman and her son share their joy of a day well spent. Description: Photo shot in a fishing village in West Bengal, India, where the entire village engages in processing dry fish. Photo: Pradip Kumar Mahato, graphic artist

GAF-7 – the 7th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries – will be held from 18-20 October, 2018, hosted at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand.

Plan to be there! GAF-7 is a stand-alone event, that will be packed with  a variety of different activities and sessions covering all aspects – truly expanding the horizons.

The GAF7 session and event themes, call for abstracts and other information will be available shortly.

Watch this page!