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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.

Asia / Pakistan

A Life of Truth and Struggle

A respectful tribute paid in homage to Tahira Shah, the great leader of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, who recently passed away


By Mustafa Gurgaze (gurgaiz@gmail.com), Programme Manager Livelihoods, at the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF)


I can never forget the first official meeting I attended soon after joining Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) in January 2010. This was held at the PFF Secretariat premises in Ibrahim Hydri, which houses the largest fishing community village in Pakistan. I noticed a simple but gorgeous lady in her mid-forties taking down notes of the discussion, who humbly raised her hand whenever she wanted to be clear on some points. She seemed seriously concerned about the issues of fisherwomen, their role at the unit- (village), district- and central governing-body level of PFF, and of course, about the education and health of fisherwomen. One of the senior colleagues at PFF told me that she was the elected Senior Vice Chairperson of PFF. That was the first time I met Tahira Shah, and observed in her the qualities of a great leader.

Being born in a middle class Syed fami

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