Category Archives: International Women’s Day

Milestones for women in fisheries

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2016, Yemaya, the gender in fisheries newsletter of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, collected a set of regional summaries of milestones for women in fisheries. In her overview for this issue of Yemaya, the editor, Nilanjana Biswas, concluded that while we take stock of, and celebrate the achievements, we should also reflect on the long road of struggle ahead—a struggle for the rights of small-scale fisheries; for the rights of women engaged in fishing, fish trade and fish-work. 

Cartoon courtesy ICSF, Yemaya Issue 51.

Cartoon courtesy ICSF, Yemaya Issue 51.

Read these summaries, plus other articles at: Yemaya. Here are the contents.

  1. Counting on Women by Sarah Harper and Danika Kleiber
  2. Women in Aquaculture by Arlene Nietes
    Satapornvanit et al
  3. Women in Fisheries in Africa: 1999-2015 by Jackie Sunde
  4. A Historic Journey by Cornelie Quist and Katia Frangoudes
  5. Profile: A.G. Chitrani: Transforming others’ lives with her courage
    Leader from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka 
    by Herman Kumara
  6. Milestones: General Recommendation on the Rights of Rural Women by Ramya Rajagopalan
  7. Cooperative Action by Suhas Wasave and Arpita Sharma
  8. Evocations of the Sea by Vipul Rikhi
  9. Women in Fisheries in Asia: 1978 – 2016 by Meryl Williams et al
  10. Q & A: Mercy Antony of Kerala by Venugopalan N
  11. Yemaya Recommends: Film – Oceans, the Voice of the Invisible by Alain Le Sann (translated Daniele Le Sann).

Latest ICSF Yemaya Newsletter Now Out

Tahira Shah leads a cultural rally in Hyderabad, Pakistan to celebrate World Fisheries Day on 21 November 2013. She spoke up against all forms of discrimination, based on gender, caste and religion and made other women also speak up against these. Source: Yemaya March 2015, ICSF. Photo by Mustafa Gurgaze.

Tahira Shah leads a cultural rally in Hyderabad, Pakistan to celebrate World Fisheries Day on 21 November 2013. She spoke up against all forms of discrimination, based on gender, caste and religion and made other women also speak up against these. Source: Yemaya March 2015, ICSF. Photo by Mustafa Gurgaze.

The latest issue of Yemaya, the newsletter on gender and fisheries put out three times a year by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, is full of interesting and thought-provoking articles, several centered around International Women’s Day and continuing struggles for decent lives and rights around the world.

The whole issue or individual articles may be downloaded.

Table of Contents

  1. From the Editor
  2. Long Live Women’s Day by Nilanjana Biswas
  3. Equal Work, Unequal Pay by Eduardo Ramírez Vera (see also this post on women in Chile))
  4. Milestones: Women 2000 by Ramya Rajagopalan
  5. A Right to Fish, A Fight to Live (Sunderabans) by Urvashi Sarkar
  6. What’s New Webby: The Role of Women in Fisheries (FAO, Susana Siar) by Nilanjana Biswas
  7. Profile: Farmers without borders Annie Castaldo—Shellfish farmer at the Laguna of Thau, France by Katia Frangoudes
  8. A Life of Truth and Struggle (Tahira Shah, Pakistan) by Mustafa Gurgaze
  9. Family Fish Farming, Bolivia (see also this post)
  10. Yemaya Mama (cartoon for International Women’s Day)
  11. Yemaya Recommends: Document “42 Portraits of Women Working in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sectors” (Femmes de Mer 42 Portraits. Un Livre De Michèle Villemur) by Brian O’Riordan


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 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


Ending violence against women is the important theme of this 2013 International Women’s Day and many websites and media have excellent messages on the theme. Therefore, I will take the opportunity of International Women’s Day to highlight instead the global estimates of the “gender gap” – differences in attainments against several indices between women and men.

The gender gap is now estimated to be, on average, very narrow for education and health outcomes, but large for economic participation and very large for political outcomes. So, while women have happily nearly achieved parity in education and health status, they still experience challenges in the economy and massive inequity in the political sphere. The following figures is from the 2012 Global Gender Gap Report (click here to see the full report, including country rankings).

Global Gender Gap Index 2012. Scores are weighted by population. Source: 2012 Global Gender Gap Report. [0.0=inequality; 1.0=equality]

Global Gender Gap Index 2012. Scores are weighted by population. Source: 2012 Global Gender Gap Report. [0.0=inequality; 1.0=equality]

The figure “shows a global snapshot of the gender gap in the four sub-indexes. It shows that the 135 countries covered in the Report, representing over 90% of the world’s population, have closed almost 96% of the gap in health outcomes between women and men and almost 93% of the gap in educational attainment. However, the gap between women and men on economic participation and political empowerment remains wide: only 60% of the economic outcomes gap and only 20% of the political outcomes gap have been closed.”

Meryl Williams

Every day is women’s day…


Woman laboratory manager, fish quality control center, Wuhan City wholesale fish market, Hubei Prov., China. Photo. M. Williams

.. but 8th March is International Women’s Day!

The UN’s theme for 2012 is Empower Rural Women – End Poverty and Hunger. This is also an appropriate call for women in aquaculture and fisheries. Women now make up a greater percentage of the agricultural workforce (as shown in graphics on than they did a few decades ago. Individual studies on gender in aquaculture and fisheries also show a growing involvement of women in the fish value chains, although hard statistics are not available in most countries.

8 March, International Women’s Day

8 March is International Women’s Day 2011

“Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women” is the UN theme for International Women’s Day 2011.  Next month, the papers on the AFS 3rd Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries themes will address pathways to decent work for women as well as pathways for women to become decision-makers, leaders and to occupy many different social and economic roles. We will address:

A. Gender and fish supply chains

B. Gendered responses to change in aquaculture and fisheries

C. Engendering fisheries and aquaculture policies and governance

To see what is happening on International Women’s Day, go to IWD.

And in case you were wondering, yes, the UN now also has an International Men’s Day. Although International Women’s Day celebrates its centenary in 2011, International Men’s Day began only in 1999. It is celebrated on 19 November.

Perhaps we can dream of one day getting beyond these needs for separate and special interests and filters, and celebrate shared and different gender roles and contributions!