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Issue No.48
  • :0973-1156
  • :March
  • :2015

March 8, or International Women’s Day, is an occasion for women across the world to gather in solidarity to mark women’s ongoing struggles for equality, freedom, dignity and a violence-free life. For more than a hundred years, ever since the historic protests of New York’s garment workers forced the commemoration of this important day, March 8 has also been an occasion for women on their long road to freedom to take collective stock of gains made and setbacks suffered, and to plan ahead. As examples from across the world in this issue of Yemaya illustrate, so it is in the case of women in fishing and coastal communities, whose lives are a daily testament to the spirit of struggle and resilience underlying International Women’s Day.

What’s New, Webby?

The Role of Women in Fisheries

By Nilanjana Biswas (, Independent Researcher

The website of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) carries a recent interview with Susana V. Siar, Fishery Industry Officer at the FAO, in which she describes the significant role women play in the fisheries sector and what FAO is doing to increase their visibility and contribution to the sector globally.

Susana V. Siar explains that fishers, like farmers, are not just men but that, in fact, millions of women around the world work in paid or unpaid jobs throughout the fish supply chain. Although women are mainly involved in the tasks that come before and after the fish are hauled out of the water, at least 15 percent of women in the sector are also involved in the act of fishing itself.

At the artisanal level, their preparatory work includes making and mending nets, baskets and pots, baiting hooks and providing services to the fishing boats. They practice their own fishing both for commercial and subsistence purposes, often from canoes and in areas close to their community.

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