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Issue No.59
  • :June
  • :2019

Yemaya Newsletter on Gender and Fisheries, Issue No. 59, June 2019


Fisherwoman from West Bengal, India Leading the struggle of fisherwomen in Tangrachar


By Shilpa Nandy (, Assistant Professor, Khudiram Bose Central College, Kolkata, India, and Advisor, Women’s Wing, Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum

From child bride and adolescent mother to community leader, the journey of 48-year--old TapasiDolui, President of the women’s wing of DakshinbangaMatysajibi Forum (DMF), a registered trade union of fisherfolk in West Bengal, India, though daunting and full of challenge, is an inspiration to women everywhere.

When she turned13, TapasiDolui was married off to a fisherman in the village of Tangrachar in Kulpi Block, South 24 ParganasDistrict in West Bengala. Everyday thereafter, she accompanied her husband on a small boat, helping him catch fish in the nearby river. Soon she also became mother to two sons. However, Tapasi’s life was full of hardship, with poverty and deprivation, andvery little support from her husband.

These hardships, far from crushing Tapasi’s spirit, bestowed her with a growing resolve to become independent and to f

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