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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.

Asia / India

A cry from the heart

A play depicting fisherwomen’s lives is evoking widespread appreciation in both fishing villages and cities throughout India

By Renu Ramanath (renuramanath@hotmail.com), Independent writer

The fish seller’s cry echoes throughout the world. It cuts across man-made barriers of language, region, religion and country. It is a cry of livelihood and sustenance, a cry of the marginalized as they are ousted out of existence by the hands that seize power.

The woes of the fishing community have been the subject of many a creative work throughout history, all over the world—in literature, films and theatre, in various forms and genres. In India, the state of Kerala is home to both the celebrated novel, Chemmeen of Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, and its celluloid version which created clichéd images of fisherfolk that continue to be reflected in many later films.

However, the lives of the children of the sea have not found much representation in Kerala's theatre, historically a powerful tool of social emancipation and spreading awareness in the State. The history of usin