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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:53
  • :March
  • :2017
  • :English

If the contextually relevant implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (the SSF Guidelines) is a challenge facing the small-scale fisheries sector, an even bigger challenge is the gender equitable implementation of the SSF Guidelines. For women in the sector, this will involve struggling at two levels: one, at the level of the household and the community, and the second, at the level of the State and other stakeholders. This issue focuses on this theme, and includes profile of women fishworkers from Ireland, Costa Rica, and India. Besides this, also covers initiatives for enhancing the capacities of women fishworkers in India and Tanzania. 

Q & A

Interview with Mercy Wasai Mghanga, fish trader and Chairperson, Bamburi Beach Management Unit (BMU) and Vice-Chairperson, Mombasa County BMU network

By Hadley B. Becha (becha.canco@gmail.com), Executive Director, Community Action for Nature Conservation—CANCO

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have been a fish trader in Mombasa, Kenya, for 20 years now. I was inspired to join this profession by a friend, who used to supply fish to tourist and beach hotels. My husband, who is a businessman, gave me the start-up capital to start my work and also helped with transportation of the products to the market.

What are the challenges that you and other women traders face?

Women have financial needs. And so, we must have the right to work in any sector of our choice. Kenyan resources are for all Kenyans. But men think they are superior to women. They occupy all the leadership positions, and downplay the rights of women to leadership in the sector. We met with a group of Tanzanian women processors who were on an exchange visit to Kenya. It was their experience too that fishermen consider women as t