back
OUR WORK

Gender in Fisheries and Aquaculture

Gender shapes the differential identities of women and men, their norms, roles and responsibilities. It influences people’s (unequal) access to resources and decision making. It influences people’s agency.

Fisheries is generally considered a male domain. Women’s roles in fisheries—along the whole value chain,  in sustaining the fishing families and community,  in protecting natural resources and local food security—are often glossed over and remain invisible. In the fisheries sector, women face persistent gender-based discrimination and marginalization, differentially defined by the diverse social context.

Women are overrepresented in vulnerable categories of employment in fisheries. They generally lack tenure security; access to productive assets and market opportunities; decent work conditions; and they have limited access to services like healthcare, child care, credits, insurance, legal aid and capacity building. They are exposed to sexual violence, prejudices and other forms of harassment. Each and every crisis impacts them disproportionately.

Women are poorly represented in fisheries’ associations, cooperatives and unions. They rarely have a say in the decisions that govern their fisheries and other matters that affect their life and livelihood. Mainstream policies and programmes remain gender-blind or biased. Lack of data undermines women’s role in fisheries.

For ICSF, since its inception in 1986, valorizing and strengthening women’s roles in fisheries and within organizations has always been a priority. For this it has undertaken research, training, advocacy and publication of the Gender in Fisheries Newsletter Yemaya. ICSF played a pioneering role in this. Its ‘Women in Fisheries’ work has been highlighting the patriarchal practices in fisheries and how these directly relate to the unsustainable exploitation of nature, to poverty and to food insecurity. It has questioned the nature of fisheries development itself, highlighting a ‘feminist perspective’ for an alternative that is in harmony with the ecosystem and respects life and livelihoods and the human rights of all people. For more information read ICSF’s Gender Policy

Current Programmes

The 8th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries, GAF8, Special Session 7: Shared Experiences of Women in Fisheries by ICSF

Special Session 7: Shared Experiences of Women in Fisheries

The 25 Minute film (compiled by ICSF) shows a change that has occurred over a decade in different countries across the world — truthful appreciation of women’s role in fisheries. Despite differences in society, culture, politics and economics, their involvement in the sector follows a similar arc the world over. The film is an effort to understand and identify the main factors over the past decade that have shaped their role, both positively and negatively. It highlights invisible voices from the South Pacific Islands, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean region during GAF 8 at Kochi. For more: https://www.gafconference.org//

Asia Workshop: IYAFA 2022-Celebrating Sustainable and Equitable Small-scale Fisheries Need for gender equality in fisheries

Asia Workshop: IYAFA 2022-Celebrating Sustainable and Equitable Small-scale Fisheries Need for gender equality in fisheries

Women play a large role in fisheries, but often their roles and contributions are invisible or not recognized. Women do fish (both on boats and without boats), sort fish, sell fish, process fish and cook fish for home consumptions. However, often women are not seen as “real” fishers and are excluded from fisheries organizations, do not have/ have less access than men to resources such as technology, loans, insurance and information. Women have responsibilities for household work and childcare that limits what they can do in fisheries. They often have less decision making power in the household and society. Some people might feel that women are not discriminated against, but the problem is that they are not even “discriminated”, since they are not even recognized as fishers and only seen as carrying out their duties to support the family... For more: https://www.icsf.net/resources/asia-workshop-iyafa-2022-celebrating-sustainable-and-equitable-small-scale-fisheries/

Resources

The 8th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries, GAF8, Special Session 7: Shared Experiences of Women in Fisheries by ICSF

pdf-image

The 8th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries, GAF8 Organized by the Society of Fisheries Technologists (SOFTI) & the ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology Special Session 7: :…

Report on National Workshop on SSF Guidelines and Women in Fisheries, India, 8 -10 April, 2022, Asha Nivas Social Service Centre, Chennai, India

The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) Trust organized a national workshop on the SSF Guidelines and Women in Fisheries, India at Asha Nivas Social Service Centre, Chennai, India,…

Report of the Brainstorming Session for the National Workshop on Enhancing Capacities of Women Fishworkers in India for the Implementation of the SSF Guidelines, Ashir Bhawan, Ernakulam, Kerala, 15‐16 May, 2019

Report of the Brainstorming Session for the National Workshop on Enhancing Capacities of Women Fishworkers in India for the Implementation of the SSF Guidelines, Ashir Bhawan, Ernakulam, Kerala, 15‐16 May,…

Report of the National Workshop: The SSF Guidelines and Mainstreaming Gender into Fisheries Policies and Legislation, YWCA of Madras International Guest House, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, 18 to 20 August 2019

A national workshop was  organised  to mainstream gender into the fisheries policies and legislation in India, to implement the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of…

Report on workshop on enhancing capacities of women fishworkers in India for the implementation of the SSF guidelines, 21–23 November 2016, Ashoka Hall, Asha Nivas Social Service Centre, Chennai, India

The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) Trust organised a national workshop on ‘Enhancing capacities of women fishworkers in India for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines’ in Chennai,…

Women’s role, struggles and strategies across the fisheries value chain the case of Lake Victoria—Tanzania by Environmental Management and Economic Development Organization (EMEDO) and ICSF

This study was conducted in June and July 2016, in the fishing areas of Mwanza and Kagera regions in the lake Victoria side of Tanzania. The focus of this study…

Report of the round table of women in small-scale fisheries in Goa, 19 February 2017, Panaji, Goa. Organized by International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) Trust with Saad Aangan

pdf-image

The workshop was conducted in Konkani, the language of Goa. The programme commenced with a lively song on the fish of Goa sung by Perpet Cardoz, from the fishing community…

Changes in the labour roles of women in the small-scale fishery in Kerala

This case study seeks to understand and highlight how the changes that have taken place in the fishery of Kerala State have also played out in the lives of women…

ICSF’s journey with Women in Fisheries

The newly-released document ‘ICSF’s Journey with Women in Fisheries’ marks a milestone not only in the history of the International Collective in Support of Fisheries (ICSF), an organization that has…

Women fish vendors in Mumbai: Study report by ICSF

This has led to a constant demand by women’s-rights’ activists and organizations to address market related issues of women vendors. This study, aims to provide insights into the challenges faced…

1 2 3 4

Global Gender Gap Report 2022

Gender parity is not recovering, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022. It will take another 132 years to close the global gender gap. As crises are compounding, women’s workforce outcomes…

Women’s major group: 2022 High Level Political Forum Position Paper: “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”

The Women’s Major Group is excited to launch our Position Paper for the 2022 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Gathering the intersectional analyses of feminists and gender equality activists worldwide, our…

Decent work and thriving businesses for women in fisheries: A cooperative action plan

The Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society collaborated with the USAID Sustainable Fish Asia Local Capacity Development Activity to develop an action plan to recognize…

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022: Towards blue transformation by FAO

The 2022 edition of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture coincides with the launch of the Decade of Action to deliver the Global Goals, the United Nations Decade of…

Women in Fisheries Value Chains in Southeast Asia and the Coral Triangle Region

USAID Sustainable Fish Asia (SUFIA) Local Capacity Development (LCD) Activity launched and distributed communication and knowledge products to promote gender equality and social inclusion in fisheries management and marine conservation…

Women and men in small-scale fisheries and aquaculture in Asia: Barriers, constraints and opportunities towards equality and secure livelihoods

Fisheries and aquaculture contribute to food security and livelihoods of millions of people in Asia. Both women and men are engaged in fisheries and aquaculture. In the past ten years,…

The Fisherwomen of the Saloum Delta: Building gender and climate justice one energy efficient oven at a time

In the Saloum Delta in Senegal, 4,800 women fishers are carrying forward a climate and energy transition in the face of rising water levels, soil salinisation, industrial overfishing and the…

The Hidden Half, Part II – Gender research in Southeast Asia’s fisheries (English Subs)

This video provides an introduction to conducting gender-specific research in Southeast Asia’s fisheries. While the video features communities and workplaces in Southern Mindanao, Philippines, it represents many of the gender…

Valuing invisible catches: estimating the global contribution by women to small-scale marine capture fisheries production

The role that women play in fisheries around the world is receiving increasing international attention yet the contributions by women to fisheries catches continues to be overlooked by society, industry…

The Hidden Half, Part I – Women’s role in Southeast Asia’s fisheries (English Subs)

This video provides an overview of women’s role in the fishing industry in Southeast Asia. While the video features communities and workplaces in Southern Mindanao, Philippines, it represents many of…

1 2 3 5