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A "feminist perspective" in fisheries builds on the fact that women of fishing communities take on multidimensional roles that straddle both production and reproduction...

Yemaya

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Issue No:45
  • :0973-1156
  • :April
  • :2014
  • :English

The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines, hereafter referred to as the Guidelines) are expected to be finalized in the upcoming Committee on Fisheries (COFI) meeting in June 2014 in Rome. Currently under discussion, these guidelines represent a step towards the formal recognition both of women’s contributions to the small-scale fisheries as well as of some of the major issues of life and livelihood that they face. However, while the inclusion of gender concerns—the result of sustained lobbying by a large number of civil society organizations—is certainly a laudable outcome, the final document may be something of a mixed bag for women in the sector.

The Guidelines recognise women’s critical contributions to pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest activities in the freshwater and marine small-scale fisheries, including shellfish and seaweed. They further recognise that gender equity and equality are fundamental to the development process and so also equal rights and opportunities for women. Calling for the promotion of women’s leadership, the Guidelines invoke the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in calling for the elimination of gender-prejudicial customary practices. Gender-sensitive policy making, women’s participation in fisheries organizations and equal access to extension services and technical training are among some of its further recommendations.

From the Editor

The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines, hereafter referred to as the Guidelines) are expected to be finalized in the upcoming Committee on Fisheries (COFI) meeting in June 2014 in Rome. Currently under discussion, these guidelines represent a step towards the formal recognition both of women’s contributions to the small-scale fisheries as well as of some of the major issues of life and livelihood that they face. However, while the inclusion of gender concerns—the result of sustained lobbying by a large number of civil society organizations—is certainly a laudable outcome, the final document may be something of a mixed bag for women in the sector.

The Guidelines recognise women’s critical contributions to pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest activities in the freshwater and marine small-scale fisheries, including shellfish and seaweed. They further recognise that gender equity and equality are fundamental to the development process and so also equal rights and opportunities for women. Calling for the promotion of women’s leadership, the Guidelines invoke the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of