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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...


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Issue No:43
  • :ISSN 0973-1156
  • :July
  • :2013
  • :English

Whether in South Africa, Chile, Uganda or India, as this issue of Yemaya shows, women in the small-scale and artisanal fisheries are confronting growing challenges in their daily lives. Caught between bureaucratic governments and exploitative markets, on the one hand, and male-dominated fisheries associations and violent neighbourhoods and homes, on the other, for most women in the sector, life can be a hellish struggle. While women usually cope by drawing upon inner strength or turning to one another for help, if in the sector as a whole, women are to ever gain justice and their rightful place in society, much more is needed.


Maritza Mena

Born to Fish, Selected to Travel: How dreams came true for Maritza Mena, fisherwoman from Costa Rica

By Vivienne Solis Rivera (vsolis@coopesolidar.org), Member, ICSF and translated by Brian O’ Riordan (briano@scarlet.be)

Maritza Mena is a 51-year old fisherwoman from Costa Rica. She was selected by her community to be their representative at the International Congress of Women in Artisanal Fisheries held in Chile in June this year (see page 5).

Maritza was born in La Pita de Tarcoles, Puntaarenas in Costa Rica, into a fishing family. As a young girl, she yearned to go out to sea but the family was too poor to afford a boat for her. Her fortunes changed one day when her brothers enquired if she wanted to go fishing. “But how am I going to get there?” she asked, pointing to the horizon. They told her she would soon find out. Maritza still recalls with delight the skiff with oars that her brothers built, which she almost instantly launched. The boat, however, was fragile and could not stand up to the strong sea winds. Her brothers then built her a stron