Tag Archives: men

Enhancing global aquaculture opportunities for women

Seaweed farmer. Photo: GCA Proceedings p. 876

We are delighted to announce that the “Proceedings of the Global Conference on Aquaculture 2010: Farming the Waters for People and Food” has now been launched, including a chapter on gender and human capacity development, and the inclusion of gender in the Phuket Concensus statement. The inclusion of gender is a breakthrough and a first for a Global Aquaculture Conference, so please check out the many ideas in the special chapter (pp. 785-822).

Congratulations to FAO and NACA for the wonderful Proceedings and thank you to the members of Expert Panel 6.3

Please send the news of this new publication on gender in aquaculture around widely to your networks.

To download the full Proceedings, pls go to: http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2734e/i2734e00.htm

To download the chapter prepared by Expert Panel 6.3: http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2734e/i2734e06c.pdf

PAGE 895  Phuket Consensus

Support gender sensitive policies and implement programmes that facilitate economic, social and political empowerment of women through their active participation in aquaculture development, in line with the globally accepted principles of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Expert Panel 6.3’s report starts on p 785:

Sustaining aquaculture by developing human capacity and enhancing opportunities for women

M.J. Williams, R. Agbayani, R. Bhujel, M.G. Bondad-Reantaso, C. Brugere, P.S. Choo, J. Dhont,, A. Galmiche-Tejeda, K. Ghulam, K. Kusakabe, D. Little, M.C. Nandeesha, P. Sorgeloos, N. Weeratunge, S. Williams and P. Xu

Abstract: People are at the heart of sustaining aquaculture. Development of human capacity and gender, therefore, is an important human dimension. Human capacity development (HCD) was a major thrust of the 2000 Bangkok Declaration and Strategy, but gender was not addressed. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s (FAO) Strategic Framework for Human Capacity Development (HCD) emphasized building human capacity in a coherent fashion at four levels – in individuals, organizations, sectors/networks and in the overall enabling environment. Although strategic HCD in aquaculture has not received attention, substantial HCD has occurred in aquaculture education and training. Aquaculture departments in universities, aquaculture research institutes, networks and professional societies all include training as central activities.

Women are active participants in aquaculture supply chains, but a dearth of gender-disaggregated information hampers accurate understanding of their contribution. Research results and FAO National Aquaculture Sector Overview (NASO) fact sheets show that female participation rates vary by type and scale of enterprise and country. Women are frequently active in hatcheries and dominate fish processing plant labourers. Women’s work in small-scale aquaculture frequently is unrecognized, under or unpaid. Most aquaculture development projects are not gender sensitive, and aquaculture success stories often do not report gender dimensions; projects can fail if their designs do not include gender.

Lacking gender-disaggregated data on participation rates and trends in education, we conducted a preliminary survey of aquaculture tertiary institutes in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The percentage of female graduates in aquaculture increased considerably over the last four decades, from zero or low numbers in the 1970s to recent rates of around 30–60 percent; rates vary both by country and within countries. No data are available to track whether female graduates are entering successful careers in aquaculture.

To accelerate HCD to meet the needs of aquaculture growth, commodity and theme priorities for HCD must be established. Educational institutions should cooperate and harmonize work programmes and overcome language barriers. Aquaculture education needs the best students and should help prepare them for rewarding careers. More social science content is needed in aquaculture curricula to groom graduates for management and leadership roles. The gender balance in aquaculture faculty could be improved by recruiting and retaining more women.

Gender should be put firmly on the policy agenda and built into normative instruments, old and new, complemented by the collection of gender-disaggregated data for aquaculture supply chains. Women should be empowered through gender equity in access to financial, natural, training and market resources.

Women in aquaculture should not be stereotyped as “small-scale” and poor. Women are often hampered by systemic barriers such as lack of legal rights. Women should be encouraged to build their management, leadership and entrepreneural skills. In circumstances where rural men have migrated for work, small-scale aquaculture has proven a suitable livelihood option to reduce the pressure on women. Because postharvest processing and fish trade are feminized occupations, gender equity deserves special attention in fair trade and fish certification schemes. HCD and gender are receiving more attention in rehabilitation efforts to assist survivors from disease and natural disasters.

Nori culture and gender in Japan

Nori farmer, Shimanto, Japan. Source: Wiki commons “the Story of the Seaweed Lady” http://www.thenutgraph.com/the-story-of-the-seaweed-lady/

Transition in nori cultivation : evolution of household contribution and gendered division of labor

by Dr A. Delaney  ad@ifm.aau.dk

In Cahiers de Biologie Marine Link

[CdBM (2011) Vol 52(4):527-533]

Abstract: Consumers throughout the world have gained familiarity with the seaweed nori (porphyra spp) thanks to the popularity of Asian cuisine, particularly Japanese sushi. Few actually know much about the people who produce this seaweed, however. This article presents qualitative social science research undertaken in Northeastern Japan among a community of nori cultivators on their production process and cultural way of life. Natural scientists acknowledge that in order to manage natural resources, it is actually the resource users who must be managed. In order to manage resource users, with the goals of social and environmental sustainability, we must understand both society and cultural institutions. With this in mind, this article focuses on the division of labor among cultivators, particularly along gender lines and the impacts, on a cultural level, of technological change on nori production. Technological change has had a profound impact on both the manner of nori production as well as the household division of labor and work and gender roles. Women play a key role in nori production today. With better understanding of such outward manifestations of culture and society we can bring the human dimensions of systems to bear in order to better manage these, and other natural resources.

Some additional information: A big breakthrough in closing the life-cycle for nori came in 1949 when Japanese researchers saw the publication of a British scientist, Dr Kathleen Drew-Baker, on the reproduction of a related species. Dr Drew-Baker is still honored in Japan for her findings, including by a memorial at Uto City, Japan (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Mary_Drew-Baker for an introduction). Thanks to my friend Choo Poh Sze for alerting me to Dr Drew-Baker’s work some years ago. Dr Delaney informs me that she has mentioned Dr Drew-Baker also in her thesis from which this paper is drawn.

See also this article on Dr Drew-Baker and nori culture from www.thenutgraph.com

Learning from gender research in agriculture

Bangaldesh. Photo: IFPRI, A. Quisumbing

Gender research is still sparse for gender and aquaculture, fisheries and the coasts. Gender studies are a little further advanced in agriculture and natural resource management. Very useful resource materials can be found from the work of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), one of the CGIAR Centers. Here are 5 links to IFPRI resources on gender and development.

  1. Gender Toolbox: http://www.ifpri.org/book-20/ourwork/researcharea/gender/gender-tool-box

Includes links to many valuable and essential analytical tools and sex-disaggregated databases and gender-sensitive databases.

   2.    Gender and collective action: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/CAPRIWP64.pdf

CAPRI working paper, 2007, by Lauren Pandolfelli,  Ruth Meinzen-Dick and Stephan Dohrn

‘This paper presents a framework for investigating the intersection of collective action and gender; i.e. how gender-oriented analysis can foster more effective collective action in the context of agriculture and natural resource management and how collective action can be used as a vehicle for gender equity. We begin with definitions of the key concepts and then present three entry points for a gendered analysis of collective action-motivations, effectiveness, and impact on gender equity- vis-à-vis the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework (Oakerson 1992; Ostrom 1991). At the heart of this framework is the action arena, which is shaped by a host of initial conditions, including asset endowments, vulnerabilities, and legal and governance systems that influence a range of outcomes. Applying a gender lens to this framework, we present an analysis of how women and men experience the initial set of conditions differently and thus, have different motivations and capacities for engaging in collective action. Next, we look at how the gender composition of groups affects the effectiveness of collective action, and finally, at the impact of collective action on gender equity and women’s empowerment. We conclude with a discussion of how this framework can improve our understanding of gender and collective action in order to facilitate more effective collective action while fostering gender equity.’

    3.   Engendering agriculture and agricultural research: http://www.ifpri.org/publication/engendering-agricultural-research

By Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Agnes Quisumbing, Julia Behrman, Patricia Biermayr-Jenzano, Vicki Wilde, Marco Noordeloos, Catherine Ragasa,  and Nienke Beintema

‘This paper makes a case for gender equity in the agricultural R&D system. It reviews the evidence on exactly why it is important to pay attention to gender issues in agriculture and why it is necessary to recognize women’s distinct food-security roles throughout the entire value chain—for both food and nonfood crops, marketed and nonmarketed commodities. The authors examine whether women are factored into the work of research institutions, and whether research institutions effectively focus on women’s needs. In short, are these institutions conducting research by and for women? The paper’s conceptual framework demonstrates the need to integrate gender into setting agricultural priorities; conducting the research itself; designing, implementing, and adopting extension services; and evaluating their impacts. It concludes with recommendations regarding how to make these suggested changes.’

  4.   Gender and policy blog: http://genderfoodpolicy.wordpress.com/  

‘This blog is a space to share announcements, news items, multimedia, research tools, resources and links to publications on the topic of gender and food policy (including issues such as hunger, food security, nutrition, governance, land, agriculture etc).’  

   4.   IFPRI’s work on gender and development: http://www.ifpri.org/book-20/ourwork/researcharea/gender

IFPIR’s main webpage giving a guide to their gender work and related resources.

   5.   IFPRI’s contributions to the World Development Report 2012 on Gender Equality and Development: Gender Equity and Development: http://www.ifpri.org/blog/gender-equality-and-development


Uganda fishing communities: study on HIV/AIDS rates in women and men

HIV and syphilis prevalence and associated risk factors among fishing communities of Lake Victoria, Uganda

By Gershim Asiki, Juliet Mpendo, Andrew Abaasa, Collins Agaba, Annet Nanvubya, Leslie Nielsen, Janet Seeley, Pontiano Kaleebu, Heiner Grosskurth, Anatoli Kamali

Link (access required for full paper) http://sti.bmj.com/content/early/2011/08/10/sti.2010.046805.abstract

Correspondence to Dr Gershim Asiki, Medical Research Council Research Unit on AIDS, Uganda Virus Research Institute, PO Box 49 Entebbe, Uganda; gershim.asiki@mrcuganda.org

This large study is one of the first to study HIV/AIDS, syphilis prevalence and risk factors in women as well as men in fishing communities, many previous studies having only focused on fishermen. An extract from the abstract follows:

Objectives Recent publications suggest that fishing populations may be highly affected by the HIV epidemic. However, accurate data are scarce. The authors determined HIV and syphilis prevalence and associated risk factors in a fishing population of Lake Victoria in Uganda.

Conclusion This fishing population characterised by a very high HIV prevalence, high syphilis prevalence and frequently reported sexual risk behaviours, urgently needs improved STI services and targeted behavioural interventions.

For one of the first papers to highlight the high rates of HIV/AIDS in some fishing communities, see Mary Huang’s paper in the proceedings of the AFS 1st Global Symposium on Gender and Fisheries (p 49-53 in http://www.worldfishcenter.org/resource_centre/WF_328.pdf) and Williams (2008) (http://www.palgrave-journals.com/development/journal/v51/n2/pdf/dev20082a.pdf – access required: author contact MerylJWilliams@gmail.com)

Chile: protected areas, women’s and men’s livelihoods

In studying peoples’ livelihoods in the Pinguino de Humboldt National Reserve and Isla Choro and Isla Damas Marine Reserve, Susan Qashu used a political ecology framework to study women’s and men’s strategies in adapting to a national marine reserve, national park, and tourism development while retaining their traditional fisheries. She found that women and men ‘diversified their traditional livelihoods as pastoralists, fishers and harvesters to include tourism operators.’

To download report: Link


Bangladesh women shrimp farmers at training course. Photo: M. Nuruzzaman

Catch up here on our comprehensive overview of all 48 presentations and posters from GAF3. Presenters from 21 countries covered the following geographic areas: global – 9 presentations; countries – Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam; Africa: Namibia, Tanzania; regions; South and Southeast Asia, Pacific, Europe.

The report, SHINING A LIGHT ON GENDER IN AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES, discovered some common threads among the many papers.

  • The social context of gender needs deeper diagnosis than gender alone in order to understand the complex ‘back stories’ of women and communities.
  • Women are still invisible and often marginal in the fish sector, trade and in natural resource management, although mainstream exceptions exist
  • The conundrum of women’s access to micro-finance yet lack of progress in building assets; and
  • The struggles and successes of achieving gender equality in institutions.

 Messages of hope also emerged, founded on intrinsic community and personal resilience strategies and innovations such as training and inclusive governance.

All those of us involved with GAF3 wish to express our gratitude for the support of the:

  • Asian Fisheries Society
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • National Network on Women in Fisheries in the Philippines, Inc.
  • FAO-Spain Regional Fisheries Livelihood Programme for South and Southeast Asia
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • Shanghai Ocean University
  • Mundus Maris
  • plus the personal support of all presenters and their organizations.

Read more

Bangladesh: women’s aquaculture assets built faster through groups

Bangladesh: fish ponds. Photo: Bread for the World, USAID

Rigorous studies on the effects of introduced fish pond and vegetable technologies in Bangladesh show that “..women’s assets increase more relative to men’s when technologies are disseminated through women’s groups”, indicating that the gendered outcomes of new technologies depend on how they are introduced. This and related studies are reported in papers in the latest edition of the Journal of Development Effectiveness (http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g938482929) and in a publication of the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Author’s (Agnes Quisumbing, IFPRI) address: a.quisumbing@cgiar.org

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/breadfortheworld/3963781730/

The following IFPRI paper also relates to the same Bangladesh research and is available for free download: Evaluating the long-term impact of antipoverty interventions in Bangladesh: An overview

This is an overview of research on the impact of “three antipoverty interventions in Bangladesh—the introduction of new agricultural technologies, educational transfers, and microfinance—on monetary and nonmonetary measures of well-being. This paper begins by setting out the conceptual framework, methodology, and empirical methods used for the evaluation of long-term impacts. It discusses the context of the evaluations and the longitudinal data used. Key findings from the individual papers are then presented, followed by an indicative analysis of the cost-effectiveness of these interventions. The overview concludes with implications for programs and policy.”

Authors: Quisumbing, Agnes R., Baulch, Bob, Kumar, Neha

Download at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19439342.2011.570447 or