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Issue No:56
  • :0973–1121
  • :July
  • :2010

The Fisherwoman
The fisherwoman
in her boat
under the sky,
deep blue above,
deep blue below,
hat
salty, skin
rippled,
waiting,
the fisherwoman
sings.

A soft song
o my love, o my lord,
carry me, float me, rock me, rescue me
a soft song for the fish and the sky
and the broad ocean and all the things on islands
that call to her.

Buildings, streets, people, suits
on green islands
across the ancient ocean,
the endless sleeping sea.

Through the light she sees the islands
and the fish watch
and wait.

—Janet Jackson

COMMENT

Don't Discriminate against Women

Gender-equitable and sustainable development of fisheries can occur only if there is an end to discrimination against women in fishing communities


More than 30 years after States adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and more than 15 years after the Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Platform for Action that set out measures for national and international action for the advancement of women, women of fishing communities continue to face discrimination at various levels.

This fact was deplored by participants of the recent ICSF workshop “Recasting the Net: Defining a Gender Agenda for Sustainable Life and Livelihoods in Fishing Communities”. The “Shared Agenda” (page 8) from the workshop underscores the need to address this situation urgently and systematically, through action at various levels—by households, communities, fishworker organizations, researchers, civil society, States and international organizations.

Notably, the agenda explicitly links the struggles of women fishworkers for their rights to the struggle for sustainable fisheries—fisheries that have the ability to sustain lives and livelihoods of fishing communities into the future.

The Shared...

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