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.
Defending a way of life—Sara García
Fisherwoman from Costa Rica
By Jesslyn Solano (firstname.lastname@example.org). Member, CoopeSoliDar RL, Costa Rica
A fisherwoman from Cabuya in Costa Rica, Sara García, is the first to admit that fishing is hard work. But she says: “I like the work. I like working with fish. I know how to prepare and sell it, and other women admire what I do.”
Sara García’s family, traditionally a small-scale fishing family, migrated to Costa Rica from their home country, Nicaragua, when she was little. She and her siblings spent their early years in Guanacaste in northern Costa Rica, but the family moved to Cabuya in search of work when Sara was about 15. The constant search for work meant that Sara did not have formal schooling but that was hardly a handicap since Cabuya readily offered work to those who needed it. Not just work, but as it turned out, romance too!
“I met Olivier, my husband, also a fisher, in the first ten days of coming to Cabuya. He was 18 then. We married a year later and I had my first son when I was 17 years old,” Sara reminisces.