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Issue No.51
  • :0973-1156
  • :April
  • :2016

Another International Women’s Day (March 8) has gone by, with significant achievements for women in the fisheries across the world. However, while we take stock of, and celebrate the achievements, we should also reflect on the long road of struggle ahead—a struggle for the rights of small-scale fisheries; for the rights of women engaged in fishing, fish trade and fish-work.

Women have always been the backbone of the small-scale fisheries sector across the world. However the contribution of women, both in economic and social terms, have been constantly undervalued.

PROFILE

A.G. Chitrani: Transforming others’ lives with her courage

Leader from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka


By Herman Kumara (hermankumara@gmail.com), National Convener, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO), Sri Lanka


Born and brought up in Nelsonpura in the Gravets divisional secretariat area of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, A.G. Chitrani is one of thousands of women victims of the brutal and protracted war between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In April 1991, her husband, a fisherman, was lost at sea while fishing in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. When her husband disappeared, Chitrani was 35 years old with four children between the ages of 15 and 22. After days of weeping, with no one but her children to cling to, a devastated Chitrani realized that she could not afford to spend any more precious time mourning her loss. Several other families were coping with similar war-related disappearances. It seemed to her that they would have to rise from the difficulties they collectively faced.

Eking out a living by selling string hoppers, Chitrani, over time, initiated the for

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