Asian Fisheries Society

Beyond Fish Processors and Caregivers: Women as Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Fish Users

Abstract:

Women's contributions to fisheries are seldom recognised, and when they are, they are often understood from the roles they play in fish processing, marketing, and caregivers of fishing households. This characterisation has influenced the manner in which gender issues have been taken into account in fisheries development projects: women are targeted through post-harvest and household support activities, "low-conflict" interventions that allow them to remain in socially acceptable female domains, without challenging power relations or improving their participation in decision-making. In this paper, we argue that it is necessary to move beyond the perception of women as fish processors and caregivers, by better understanding their access to fisheries resources, identifying their roles and relationships with others, and by acknowledging the benefits of directly involving them in decision-making. Based on a synthesis of relevant literature we develop three categories to illustrate the different ways women access fisheries resources. Women directly involved in fish-harvesting are categorised as primary users, while those that access fish through kinship or other relationships are categorised as secondary users. Finally, women who buy fish directly from fishers or traders are categorised as tertiary users. Drawing on these categories we are able to make a number of recommendations to enhance women’s participation in the fisheries sector.

Publication Date : 2014-12-15

Volume : 27

Issue : Special

Page : 33-42

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Date 2014/12/15
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