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Issue No:77
  • :September
  • :2017

Samudra Report No.77, September 2017


A Backbreaking Struggle

The abject working conditions of the shellfish fisherwomen on the Paraná coast of Brazil call for a revaluation of their work to guarantee them rights and benefits

This article is by Ana Paula Rainho (, a doctoral student at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil

Although women’s work in fisheries is diverse and wide and differs by culture and region and between rural and urban areas, the common factor is that it is rarely seen as ‘productive’; instead, it is normally seen as an extension of the ‘domestic’ space. Although 47 per cent of the total workforce in fisheries comes from women, their role is invisible, unrecognized, undervalued and under-represented. This often causes them a denial of labour rights since they are not recognized as professionals in artisanal fishing.

The situation is no different with artisanal shellfish fisherwomen working along the coast of Paraná in Brazil. They have faced difficulties in receiving recognition for their work and in gaining access to their rights. Shellfish fishing occurs mainly in the city of Antonina, but such activity is also found in the municipalities of Guaraqueçaba, Pontal do Paraná and Paranaguáas as a means of subsistence...

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