Category Archives: Gender research resources

Join GAFS!

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Join the new Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society and become part of a community of people committed to equitable and effective cooperation in research and practice on gender in aquaculture and fisheries issues!

We are proud to launch the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section (GAFS) of the Asian Fisheries Society (AFS). This is the first formal gender section ever to be created in a professional fisheries or aquaculture society and is the culmination of over 20 years of developments within AFS in addressing women and gender in fisheries and aquaculture. The fundamentals of GAFS have been developed by two teams of volunteers from among the attendees at GAF5 and GAF6 who we gratefully acknowledge.

The objectives of GAFS are to promote equitable and effective cooperation among scientists/academics, technicians, fisheries officers and non-governmental organization experts involved in issues related to gender in fisheries and aquaculture so as to advance research and practice in Asia-Pacific and other regions of the world. For more detail see the full objectives and mechanisms.

Wherever you come from, we welcome your membership in GAFS. If you join before the end of 2017, you can become a Founding Member of the AFS Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section (GAFS). Here is how to join.

You can become a GAFS member through either of two pathways.

The first pathway is for existing AFS members in good standing who are interested in advancing the GAFS objectives. For AFS members to become a GAFS member, simply send a short message indicating you wish to join GAFS to the AFS Executive Officer –info@asianfisheriessociety.org. Your AFS membership details will be amended to include membership of GAFS.

The second pathway if you are currently not an AFS member. In this case, you can easily join AFS by visiting the membership page and joining AFS. On joining, you will be asked to indicate which sections or branches of AFS you wish to join, including GAFS.

Generous member discounts at AFS and GAFS events such as the triennial aquaculture and fisheries forums and other AFS conferences, workshops and forums. What you will get from becoming a member of GAFS:

  • Opportunity to take a leadership role by nominating for the GAFS Executive Committee
  • Voting rights in electing GAFS, and AFS officers
  • Chance to contribute to and receive periodic the GAFS Newsletter, AFS Newsletter, special interest news and information on gender in aquaculture and fisheries, including through social media
  • Access to a strong, participatory community of like-minded people committed to the objectives of GAFS and AFS, including senior experts and mentors
  • Ability to advance research and practice in gender and women’s issues in aquaculture and fisheries
  • Access to  with other like-minded organisations regionally and globally

Fisheries Thematic Symposium @ World Women’s Congress 2017

The World Women’s Congress 2017 (WWC) will be held in Florianopolisw, Brazil, July 30 to August 4 [see main Congress link).

cabecalho-enOne of the Thematic Symposia will be on fisheries. It is being coordinated by Maria do Rosário de Fátima Andrade Leitão (Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco), Maria Helena Santana Cruz (Universidade Federal de Sergipe).

Thematic Symposium 129: Transformations, connections, displacements of feminism regarding sex, work, educational formation and traditional communities (fisherwomen, fishermen, “quilombola” and indigenous communities, and family farmers)

Abstract: The proposal of this Thematic Group is to contribute to the academic discussion and establish dialogues about the diversity both in scientific and popular knowledge concerning the “Transformations, Connections, Displacements of Feminism: gender, work, educational formation, and traditional communities” especially with regard to sex and gender roles, work, educational formation and traditional communities from research results of different approaches. Thus, there would be an interaction from approaches and challenging topics in the field of Human Sciences established by Public Policies that could include Public Policies established by governmental and nongovernmental organizations that which take into account the diversities and their impact to the development of social gender role relations. That means, proposals addressing the feminist intersectionality (whose perspectives reject the separation between analytical categories and identities) and with analysis of the promotion of sustainable development with equity in power relations, their impact on the everyday experiences of the subjects, in the production of injustice, in the systemic social inequality on a multidimensional base that focuses on specific contexts. This scope would encompasses particularly scientific studies with analysis of the conditions of life in traditional communities. Consequently, it urge to study their unequal access to political actions and the space of women in communities of fisherwomen and fishermen, as well as in “quilombolas” and indigenous groups and family farmers; the equal participation of women and men at all levels of political decision-making processes in public and private spaces; the discussion of self-reflection and self-criticism in order to know their personal values and how they affect life itself and the relation with others. We expect to stand by people interested in an advanced knowledge about the dynamics and interdependence of social relations in the fight against the multiple and conjugated forms of oppression.

Keywords: Feminism, Gender, Work, Educational formation, Traditional communities.

Also see our page on the 2011 women in fisheries session at the 2011 World Women’s Congress (Ottawa) – Why the Coast Matters – link.

 

New rural technologies and gender

Women in Lake Pulicat building crab fattening cages. Photo: Dr. B. Shanthi, CIBA (ICAR), India.

Women in Lake Pulicat building crab fattening cages. Photo: Dr. B. Shanthi, CIBA (ICAR), India.

A tremendous emphasis in agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture research is given to developing new, more efficient and profitable technologies for farmers and fishers.  Governments all around the world support research and extension institutes, and the private sector also has a huge influence. But how are women faring in having a say in what their priorities are and in getting access to the innovations? Most especially in the agriculture sector, a considerable amount of research has gone into evaluating these questions. Catherine Ragasa and Debdatta Sengupta from IFPRI, and Martha Osorio, Nora OurabahHaddad, and Kirsten Mathieson from FAO recently reviewed what has been learned. Their report – Gender-specific approaches, rural institutions and technological innovations: Identifying demand- and supply-side constraints and opportunities in access, adoption and impact of agricultural technological innovations – is well worth reading. It puts together key findings and good recommendations for integrated and stand-alone action. The integrated actions are particularly important as they stitch together the issues of gender and technology needs, its generation, and its dissemination. In the process, they weave together the central importance of gender in the workforces of research and extension institutions.

Here are key messages

  • Female heads of households and plot-managers are less likely to adopt a wide range of agricultural and rural technologies than male heads and plot-managers. The most commonly-cited reasons are greater time and labor constraints; relatively less access to funds and credit; more limited information, education and training; more limited capacity and opportunity for participation in innovation and decision-making processes; and more limited access to accompanying inputs and services. These are influenced by weak legislation that protect rights and promotes equality and by persistent social biases and cultural norms.
  • Although various labor-saving and energy-saving technologies have huge potential, empirical studies show that their use and adoption among rural women is often low and usually much lower than men. Three reasons for gender differences are common: (1) cultural-appropriateness; (2) physical accessibility; and (3) affordability. In some cases, the adoption of improved productivity-enhancing technologies has increased women’s time burdens. The most common reason is the weaker participation and engagement of women farmers and stakeholders than men in priority-setting and research processes, limiting the opportunity to influence the development of new technologies.
  • In ICT, men are more likely to use the Internet and to have an email address than women. There is a more promising pattern of rural women accessing and using radios for agricultural information, although men still are more likely to own and control their use. The gap between men’s and women’s access use of mobile phones is diminishing, although in rural areas, men are more likely to own and have access to phones than women, who have greater levels of illiteracy, cultural barriers, and less available cash and access to credit.
  • There is increasing attention in the literature that women and men farmers are innovators and doing their own farm experimentation. Innovation funds can provide incentives for farm experimentation for women and men. Rural institutions and innovative producer organizations can succeed in using collective action to address access and liquidity and to reduce gender gaps in technology adoption. Farmer-innovators benefit more if they are linked with research and extension institutes, a conducive rural business climate and are linked to lucrative markets.
  • Most support organizations, including research organizations and their staff have weak capacity and incentives to be more effective and responsive to the needs of both women and men farmers. Numerous attempts of participatory and consultative approaches failed to deliver significant broad-based impact on technology adoption and gender-equitable outcomes. But, women are overwhelmingly under-represented as scientists, educators, graduates, managers and extension agents. Initiatives to increase more women graduates, scientists and extension agents are being implemented, but more need to be done.

Recommendations (in summary)

o Strengthening capacity of women and men farmers as innovators, evaluators of technologies, and key partners in innovation processes.

o Build measurable targets and strengthening the monitoring and evaluation to ensure that (1) planning and innovation processes addresses women and men’s needs, preferences and opportunities; (2) women and men can access and use these technologies; and (3) women and men benefit from these technologies.

o Holistic and integrated approach of looking at constraints to production and marketing and paying close attention to the complementarities of inputs and services.

o Promoting equal playing field:  strengthen women’s land, property and water rights. Affirmative action to ensure that more girls are going to school and more women professionals are getting equal opportunities as men in the area of research, extension, and education systems. Quota systems, focal points, and gender-balanced staffing in research, extension and education organizations do not often work without genuine empowerment among women professionals including confidence-building, greater mobility, decreasing time burden, training and capacity strengthening.

o More attention in research to gender-disaggregated data and gender analysis in mainstream research is needed. More studies are needed that provide nuanced categorization and analysis on gender and addresses the diversity and typologies of women and men farmers.

Download the report.

Gender lessons from field research in Bangladesh and Zambia

AAS GTCA new report from the CGIAR Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) research program picks out some early lessons from the floodplains of Bangladesh and Zambia where the gender transformative approach is being tested in the field. The approach, which the AAS program seeks to apply, tries to go beyond simple gender approaches and checklists that usually oversimplify the challenges of gender. “By not viewing gender as part of how society works, mainstream agricultural [and fisheries] practice accepts the social status quo without questioning whether and how existing norms, attitudes and distributions of power frame the opportunities and outcomes of women and men, thus creating inequalities.

The report, “Gender-transformative approaches to address inequalities in food, nutrition and economic outcomes in aquatic agricultural systems,” found:

  • The need to engage with the women and men as members of families, not only as individual farmers
  •  The need to understand how to stimulate market actors to be more gender responsive
  • The importance of communications that help change behaviour and disseminate information on role models and success stories, as well gender champions who can engage at the community level, including with key leaders
  • The need for participatory research to help generate critical reflection on the causes and transformative opportunities in key social issues such as the underlying negative gendered causes for women-headed households

The report is available for download.

25th SPC Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin: Looking forward and back

Seaweed farming Waigina, Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands. Photo by M. Kronen, SPC WIF25.

Seaweed farming Waigina, Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands. Photo by M. Kronen, SPC WIF25.

The Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC), has just released its 25th Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin. Congratulations to the SPC, Bulletin Editors including current editor Dr Veikila Vuki, donors and supporters for this achievement. This issue starts with a message of support from Moses Amos, the new Director of SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division, who outlines his vision for women in fisheries at the SPC.

The whole issue or individual articles can be downloaded here.

CONTENTS

How can we incorporate gender into our research and development approaches?

Participants at the ASEM gender in aquaculture training course, 2012 contemplate the basics. Source: Jariah Masud.

Participants at the ASEM gender in aquaculture training course, 2012 contemplate the basics. Source: Jariah Masud.

More development research institute leaders, researchers and project developers are aware of the importance of gender equality in programs and project activities. Some have made public commitments to action through their work. Often, however, these good intentions are thwarted by lack of knowledge and expertise on how to go about it. Of course, in an ideal world, the solution is to call in the experts, and this is still important. However, experts are much in demand and may not be readily accessible. How can you educate yourself about research and project development methods? One way is to learn from what the experts have written, of course!

This post highlights some condensed wisdom that has recently been published, plus provides links to some of our previous posts on gender research and development methods.  If you know of other handy materials, we would welcome learning of them, so that we can help share them with our readers

Standards for collecting sex-disaggregated data

Visit this site to download the document

This 6 page guide is an excellent condensation of the key points, highlighted in the list of “MUST HAVES FOR GENDER ANALYSIS.” It is published by IFPRI on behalf of the CGIAR Policies, Institutions and Markets research program.

  • Collect information about both men and women. Ask questions about specific individuals or groups and identify them by sex.
  • Collect information from men and women. This does not necessarily require interviewing men and women in the same household. Studies that fail to include male and female respondents will be subject to biases; the extent of the bias will depend on the knowledge and perceptions of the respondent(s).
  • All data collection methods must be context specific. Questions must be adapted to the context. Those collecting and analyzing the data need to understand gender roles and social dynamics. This knowledge must also guide the settings for interviews or focus groups.
  • Budget for the additional costs of collecting sex-disaggregated data.
  • Work with a gender expert early in the process to define the research question and methodology.
  • Researchers collecting data from human subjects must ensure that the participants have completed a confidentiality and consent agreement. While these requirements are important for all research, they are essential for gender analyses that address sensitive topics such as asset ownership and domestic violence.
  • Comparing male and female headed households is not gender analysis. Differences between these diverse household types cannot necessarily be attributed to the sex of the household head.

Value chain analysis and gender

This publication, Review of gender and value chain analysis, development and evaluation toolkits, from ILRI on behalf of the CGIAR research program on Livestock and Fish, is essentially a review of qualitative and quantitative tools found in workshop materials, manuals, guide books, handbooks, reports, research papers and toolkits themselves. It also gives sample rapid assessment tools for livestock and crop value chains.

Visit this site to download the publication

other resources from previous genderaquafish.org posts

We have posted in the past on a number of other research and project development resources. Here are their links.

1. From the FAO-Spain Regional Fisheries Livelhioods Programme

How to mainstream gender in small scale fisheries

RFLP Gender Mainstreaming manual

2. IFPRI on gender data in agriculture

Data needs for gender analysis in agriculture

Never too late to mainstream gender

Many agencies and projects find themselves in the same situation as the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem project (BOBLME), which realised that it had not taken gender into account in formulating its strategies and project priorities. To overcome this gap, BOBLME undertook an ex post analysis of the gender dimension of their work and what to do to catch up on including gender.

These efforts have now been condensed and presented in a new paper by Cecile Brugere called Mainstreaming gender in transboundary natural resources projects – the experience of the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) projectThe experience and the processes used in the BOBLME planning efforts for gender should be of value to other agencies who find themselves starting late to incorporate gender.

The paper is open access in the journal Environmental Development and can be be downloaded here.

Abstract: The Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) project aims to improve the lives of men and women depending on the fisheries resources of the Bay of Bengal. Despite the major role women play in fisheries, the contents of the project documents have however remained gender-blind. The paper proposes that the Theory of Change offers a compelling framework to consider how this could be redressed in an ex-post manner, enabling transboundary natural resources projects such as the BOBLME project to contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Practical steps are suggested. They include the elaboration of a high-level statement of political will to gender equality and the consideration of gender-sensitive actions and cross-cutting issues covering communication, gender-disaggregated data collection and governance. A commitment to impact through human capacity building and the allocation of adequate budgets for gender mainstreaming, is fundamental to embrace the change process that progress towards gender equality requires. In line with the Theory of Change, the development of a pathway to impact and use of gender- sensitive outcome mapping as a form of monitoring and evaluation are suggested as pivotal in capturing the changes expected from mainstreaming gender in the project and the project’s own influence in progressing towards gender equality in the region. The main- streaming approach proposed could be generalised to other transboundary natural resources projects of a similar institutional and operational structure to the BOBLME project.