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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.

Q & A

Interview of 51 year-old Usha Tamore, Mumbai District Womens’ Fish Vending Co-operative, India

By Shuddhawati Peke (icsf@icsf.net), Programme Associate, ICSF

How long have you been in fish vending?

I’ve been a fish vendor for the past 30 years. I learnt the trade from my mother, also a vendor. My day would start at 6.30 in the morning: First to Crawford Market to buy fish from the wholesale dealers; then to Mahim Station Market to sell fish until noon; then to school; and after school I would help my mother with housework. I dropped out of school to become a full-time fish vendor when my family could no longer support my education. After marriage, we settled down in Mahim where my livelihood was.

How did you get involved in the issues of the market?

In 1975, women fish vendors of Mahim Station Market were displaced overnight by the administration for the building of Pickle Hospital. We went on to the streets in protest. The Municipal Corporation built another market but this was too small, so we had to start selling in the streets. Today we have about 100 women who sell fish in the stre