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Issue No.50
  • :0973-1156
  • :December
  • :2015

We are happy to present to you the 50th issue of Yemaya. The occasion is unfortunately, however, more sombre than it is celebratory, in a world beset by war and disaster.

Since its launch in April 1999, Yemaya has regularly covered gender issues in the fisheries. It has systematically documented the various forms of gender based inequality and discrimination that prevail in the sector. It has also documented the steady erosion of the livelihood base of artisanal fishers as threats to small-scale fisheries (SSF) continue to grow.

On this occasion, it would be fitting to recall the Shared Gender Agenda that ICSF had released in 2010, with wide endorsement from representatives of fishing communities and fish worker organizations from across the world. Some of the points from the Shared Gender Agenda are worth noting in today’s context.

Asia / Sri Lanka

Widows’ struggles in post-war Sri Lanka

This report documents the post-war struggle of women, mainly widows, from the fishing communities of Mannar, Sri Lanka, attempting to reconstruct their lives


By Cornelie Quist (cornelie.quist@gmail.com), Member, ICSF, with support from Anusan Mary Priyantha, NAFSO-Mannar


In 2012, Yemaya had carried a report based on my meetings with women of fishing communities of Batticaloa, a district on the east coast of Sri Lanka which had been badly affected by both the ethnic based civil war in Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 (see Yemaya Issue 41). This year, at the end of August, I had the opportunity to return to Sri Lanka where I met widows who are organizing themselves in groups to survive and meaningfully reconstruct their lives.

There are an estimated 89,000 such war widows in Sri Lanka. Since 2009, the guns have fallen silent after 26 years of ethnic based civil war, but the widows are still struggling to feed themselves and their children. Many war widows belong to fishing communities in the north and east of

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