Rapid economic development in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors often relies heavily on local or migrant women workers entering the paid workforce. This has been the case on the Island of Chiloé in southern Chile, one of the areas of intense growth of salmon aquaculture and salmon processing for export. In their recent paper in the journal World Development, Eduardo Ramírez and Ruerd Ruben examined the pre-existing gender patterns that led to a fast uptake by women of paid employment in the salmon industry. The area went from a lower than national average rate of women in the workforce in 1996 (26.6% in Chiloé compared to 36.6% nationally) to, in 2009, a higher than national average in (48% vs 43%).
The paper, “Gender Systems and Women’s Labor Force Participation in the Salmon Industry in Chiloé,” reported statistical evidence that women whose husbands previously migrated seasonally for several months, leaving them to do productive “men’s work” such as farming, as well as reproductive work, were more likely to take up paid work than other women. The women whose previous productive work was more conceived locally as “women’s work,” were less likely to take up the new paid work. These more traditional areas of women’s work were shellfish and seaweed harvesting and crafts.
Despite the ingress of women into the paid workforce, however, a gender pay gap still exists, even after adjusting for types of work undertaken by women and men.
Ramírez and Ruben suggest that more studies should look at the effects of territory-specific or local gender systems should be carefully examined and taken into account in labor policies, rather than assuming national heterogeneity.
Download the paper or contact the author, e-mail: email@example.com
To learn more of the background of Chiloe Island and the salmon industry, try these links:
Hayward, P. 2011, ‘Salmon aquaculture, cuisine and cultural disruption in Chiloe’, Locale: The Australasian-Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 87-110.
Pablo Ibieta, et al. 2011. Chilean Salmon Farming on the Horizon of Sustainability: Review of the Development of a Highly Intensive Production, the ISA Crisis and Implemented Actions to Reconstruct a More Sustainable Aquaculture Industry, Aquaculture and the Environment – A Shared Destiny, Dr. Barbara Sladonja (Ed.). Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/books/aquaculture-and-the-environment-a-shared-destiny/chilean-salmon-farming-on-the-horizon-of-sustainability-review-of-the-development-of-a-highly-intens
Stevenson, K. and D. Poulter. 2013. Chiloe – Exploring Chile’s largest Island. http://latinchattin.com/2013/06/05/chiloe-exploring-chiles-largest-island/
Posted in Americas, Aquaculture, Chile, Fish post-harvest, Gender, Gender and development, Gender in the workplace, Gendered labor studies, Globalization, Localization, Women
A new report, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition, has provided probably “the most comprehensive recent attempt to review and synthesize the current knowledge” said Dr Christophe Béné. Dr Béné, of the Institute of Development Studies, chaired the team of the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security that produced the report.
The report recommends that fish need to be fully integrated into all aspects of food security and nutrition policies and programmes. It pays special attention to all dimensions of food security and nutrition and promotes small-scale production and local arrangements, as local markets, e.g. for procuring school meals, and other policy tools, including nutrition education and gender equality.
The report is dedicated to Chandrika Sharma who was one of the peer reviewers of the report.
HLPE Team for fish, food security and nutrition report. Left to right: Gro-Ingunn Hemre, Modadugu V. Gupta, Moenieba Isaacs, Chris Béné, Meryl Williams, Ningsheng Yang and Vincent Gitz (Secretary)
Download the report here
Extract of the FOREWORD by Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Chair of HLPE Steering Committee
This report addresses a frequently overlooked but extremely important part of world food and nutrition security: the role and importance of fish in seeking food and nutrition security for all. Fisheries and aquaculture have often been arbitrarily separated from other parts of the food and agricultural systems in food security studies, debates and policy-making. I applaud the Committee on World Food Security for its decision to bring fisheries and aquaculture fully into the debate about food and nutrition security.
The report presents a synthesis of existing evidence regarding the complex pathways between fisheries and aquaculture and food and nutrition security, including the environmental, economic and social dimensions, as well as issues related to governance. It provides insights on what needs to be done to achieve sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in order to strengthen their positive impact on food and nutrition security.
The ambition of this compact yet comprehensive report is to help the international community to share and understand the wide spectrum of issues that make fisheries and aquaculture such an important part of efforts to assure food security for all.
The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) was created in 2010 to provide the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security (CFS) with evidence-based and policy-oriented analysis to underpin policy debates and policy formulation. While specific policy interventions should be based on context-specific understanding, HLPE reports provide evidence relevant to the diversity of contexts, with recommendations aiming to be useful to guide context-specific policy interventions.
The main findings of the report cover the themes:
- Fish as a critical food source
- Fish has received little attention in food security and nutrition strategies
- Risks and pressures affecting the world fisheries
- Opportunities and challenges in aquaculture
- Small vs large scale fishing operations
- Unsettled debates on fish trade
- Social protection and labour rights
- Gender equity
In the Executive Summary, the report says the following on Gender Equity (paras 27-29; the body of the report contains more detail)
- 27. The first comprehensive attempt to estimate the number of fish workers found that 56 million, near half of the 120 million people who work in the capture fisheries sector and its supply chains, are women. This is essentially due to the very high number of female workers engaged in fish processing (including in processing factories) and in (informal) small-scale fish trading operations. However, small-scale fisheries and supply-chain jobs outside production are not well recorded, so the actual number of women may be higher. Comparable estimates are not yet available for the 38 million aquaculture sector workers.
- 28. Gender, along with intersectional factors (such as economic class, ethnic group, age or religion), is a key determinant of the many different ways by which fisheries and aquaculture affect food security and nutrition outcomes, availability, access, stability and diet adequacy, for the population groups directly involved in fish production and supply chains, but also beyond.
- 29. Men are dominant in direct production work in fisheries and aquaculture. Much of women’s work, such as gleaning, diving, post-harvest processing and vending, is not recognized or not well recorded, despite its economic and other contributions. Gender disaggregated data are not routinely collected and, partly as a result of this, little policy attention is given to women and to the gender dimension of the sector.
In the Recommendations, item 7 addressed Gender Equity with the following recommendation (7)
- 7a) Ensure that their aquaculture and fisheries policies and interventions do not create negative impacts on women and encourage gender equality.
- 7b) Enshrine gender equity in all fisheries rights systems, including licensing and access rights. The definitions of fishing must cover all forms of harvest including the forms typically practised by women and small-scale operators, such as inshore and inland harvesting of invertebrates by hand and the use of very small-scale gear.
Posted in Africa, Americas, Aquaculture, Asia, Change, Conservation, FAO, UN Women, World Bank, IFAD, UNIDO and other multilateral, Fish post-harvest, Fisheries, Gender, Gender and development, Gendered labor studies, gleaning, Global, Globalization, ICSF, Localization, Men, Natural resource management, Pacific, Oceania, Regional, Research, communication resources, Risk reduction, Theme, Uncategorized, West Asia/Middle East, Women, women divers
Gendered change in fisheries is starting to emerge as a significant field of research. This new research paper from Easkey Britton, published in Maritime Studies, finds that, over the last century – from the days of the independent “herring lassies” to the days of fisheries decline and factory closures – women have become less and less visible, but more and more important to family well-being, often at the expense of subjugating their own needs. The paper is called “Women as agents of wellbeing in Northern Ireland’s Fishing households.”
This paper focuses on the gender dimensions of wellbeing in fishing households in Northern Ireland. The impact of change in the fishing industry on women’s wellbeing is outlined and linkages are made between changing access to fish and changing roles of women in fishing households. The paper explores what this change means for how women perceive and pursue their wellbeing needs and aspirations and how they negotiate their needs with the needs of the household. In an occupation as gender biased as fishing it is argued that in order for fisheries management and policy to be successful, a profile of what really matters to people is important. In particular, the paper highlights how such priorities link to the complex and dynamic role of women in fishing households.
The paper is open access and can be downloaded here
Also check out our earlier story on northern UK women in fisheries, covering a previous paper by Easkey and one by Minghua Zhao and colleagues.
Posted in Change, Country, Easkey Britton, Europe, Fish post-harvest, Fisheries, Gender, Gendered impact study, Gendered labor studies, Geography, Globalization, Localization, Men, Northern Ireland, Organisations and People, United Kingdom, Women
Women fish traders examine fish before the auction. Photo: N. Turgo
Nelson Turgo’s paper, “Bugabug ang dagat” (Rough seas): Experiencing Foucault’s heterotopia in fish trading houses, in Social Science Diliman, provides intriguing analysis of how women and men fish traders use and view their daily spaces in fish trading houses of Mauban, Quezon province, Philippines.
Places in the contemporary world are subjected to the workings of differentiating logics, foremost of which is globalization and to the other end, the counter-logic of localization, which results in, amongst others, the instantiation of differing spaces. These spaces, oftentimes co-existing and overlapping, are a result of contrapuntal forces, enacting their own colonization of places by people of varying interests. This article explores the other uses of kumisyunan (fish trading houses) by magririgaton (fish vendors) from a small fishing community in Quezon province that “simultaneously represent, contest, and invert” the very purpose and nature of the places’ rationale: fish trading. Heterotopia will be deployed in this article to further the ends of how a particular place could be inhabited by a number of spaces or exhibit alternate spatial possibilities and display a plethora of spatial practices within one singular location at different times in a particular spatial and temporal context. The article hopes to contribute to the further understanding of how everyday life and place is lived and reproduced in the variegated geographies of globalization in a developing economy like the Philippines.
Download the paper here
In GAF2, 2007 Kochi, Dr C. Ramachandran and colleagues presented on: “Gendered spaces, Technological Change and Fisheries Sustainability: A comparative analysis of women in Tuna Fisheries in Lakshadeep and Bivalve Fisheries in Kerala”. This is another fascinating investigation of the use of space by women and men in a fisheries setting. Downlaod the PPT here.
See also Dr Turgo’s earlier paper and story: Insider’s Rapport? Take a Visit to a Philippine Coastal Community with Dr Nelson Turgo, Social Scientist
Also see Dr Turgo’s Ph D thesis: http://www.sirc.cf.ac.uk/uploads/thesis/Turgo.pdf
Posted in Asia, Change, Country, Fisheries, Gender, Gender in the workplace, Gendered labor studies, Geography, Globalization, Localization, Men, Nelson Turgo, Organisations and People, Philippines, Research, communication resources, Women