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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.


Women in Fisheries in Asia: 1978 – 2016

From fisherwomen’s struggles against unfair taxation in the 1970s in India to organizing global programmes to forge common understanding and strategy, women in fisheries in Asia have come a long way

By Meryl Williams (, with inputs from Choo Poh Sze, Kaniz Fatema, Jayne Gallagher, Marieta Sumagaysay, Malasri Khumsri, Jin Yeong Kim, Mayanggita Kirana, Nalini Nayak, Mohammad Nuruzzaman, B. Shanthi, Indah Susilowatu and Veikila Vuki

This article on the milestones achieved by women in the fisheries in Asia-Pacific is based on existing material and contributions from several colleagues (see above). Many more milestones are still to be added, but the following will give a flavour of what has happened. The milestones summarised here are varied—sometimes uplifting, often depressing, some big, others small, but all indicative of women fishworkers’ struggles.The milestones are just a start and are somewhat biased towards research and government agency actions, and contain less than we would like on grassroots action.Part of the lack of g

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