We are happy to present to you the 50th issue of Yemaya. The occasion is unfortunately, however, more sombre than it is celebratory, in a world beset by war and disaster.
Since its launch in April 1999, Yemaya has regularly covered gender issues in the fisheries. It has systematically documented the various forms of gender based inequality and discrimination that prevail in the sector. It has also documented the steady erosion of the livelihood base of artisanal fishers as threats to small-scale fisheries (SSF) continue to grow.
On this occasion, it would be fitting to recall the Shared Gender Agenda that ICSF had released in 2010, with wide endorsement from representatives of fishing communities and fish worker organizations from across the world. Some of the points from the Shared Gender Agenda are worth noting in today’s context.
Africa / South Africa
The long road to freedom
The end of apartheid has signalled a new beginning for women in South Africa’s fisheries but real equality is still a far-off dream
By Sharon Groenmeyer (firstname.lastname@example.org), Senior Research Associate, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Women in fishing communities are increasingly moving from traditional, community based occupations to seeking employment in the labour market. While this is an opportunity for women, their employment is also largely in the male dominated fishing industry, where job segregation into ‘less skilled and low paid’ jobs for women define employment opportunities. However, engagement as members in local non-government networks help women to challenge these stereotypes. In South Africa, for instance, the recent legislation promoting opportunity for women in male dominated sectors of employment is an opportunity for women to earn wages equal to those of men.
The following is an example from fishing villages located in Saldanha Bay, 140 km outside Cape Town. It shows how life for women has changed since the time of