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Yemaya Newsletter

A goddess popular in western Africa and Latin America lends her name to ICSF’s newsletter. ‘Yemaya’ is a contraction of ‘YeyOmoEja’. It means: Mother Whose Children are Fish—so numerous they cannot be counted.

Among the Yoruba people of Brazil and the Caribbean, she is the mother of the waters and all the ‘orishas’ (gods and goddesses). Often represented as a mermaid of white and blue hues and sporting long black hair, she has several names in Yoruba, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Creole. A fertility goddess, she embodies all the tenets of motherhood, like love and caring. She is also a fierce warrior.

The newsletter was born in February 1998 at ICSF’s general body meeting. The collective needed a newsletter for its innumerable constituents—organizations and individuals working on gender issues in fisheries. It is the voice of ICSF’s partners and their extensive network.

Yemaya provides updates on current affairs and grassroots matters. Small-scale fisheries are specific to their locations—they are highly localized. But they face similar problems and challenges. Yemaya fosters and sustains links among those working on similar issues over great distances.

Each issue carries editorial articles, profiles of fisherwomen, coverage of current affairs relevant to gender issues, new initiatives, infographics, recommendations of films and books, among other things. Each issue updates the reader on the concerns of women from fishing communities. It connects like-minded men and women from fishing communities with civil society organizations and researchers engaged with sustainable small-scale fisheries. It gives visibility to the ICSF network across the world, across the North-South divide.

It is published thrice a year in English. Newsletter articles are freely available on the ICSF website, as also in online repositories.

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