Chris Béné's article "Women and Fish-for-Sex" (FFS) is being highlighted in this issue of id21. The researchers use the example of a small-scale fishing community in the Kafue flats region of Zambia, and review other cases in the world. They demonstrate how economic impoverishment, which is often put forward to explain FFS transactions, is too simplistic to capture the complexity of the FFS phenomenon.
Malnutrition levels in Bangladesh are amongst the highest in the world. Approximately half of Bangladesh’s population lives below the food poverty line and the dietary intake of both adults and children are severely deficient in key vitamins and minerals. It is now understood that women and children are the more food-insecure and micronutrient-deficient in the population.
In Cambodia, women make up more than 65% of the adult population. They play a most important role in all spheres of social and economic activities. A recent investigation has shown that in small scale aquaculture, women have been found to contribute more than men in almost all activities. Details about this are discussed in this article.
In Bangladesh, only 6% of the daily food intake is animal food of which fish accounts for 50%. Rice is the mainstay, making up 60% of the daily food intake. However, many nutrients such as vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, zinc and iodine are not found in rice and have to be obtained from other sources. Small indigenous fish are a vital contribution to the diet of the rural poor in Bangladesh, where more than 30,000 children go blind every year from vitamin A deficiency and 70% of women and children are iron-deficient.
Fishing for prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) postlarvae is a major contributor to the livelihoods of the coastal poor in Bangladesh, including women. A study of coastal livelihoods along the lower Pasur River in southwest Bangladesh indicates that on average 40% of total annual income comes from postlarvae fishing during the few months involved. However, indiscriminate fishing of wild postlarvae, with high levels of by-catch, has an impact on biodiversity in coastal ecosystems. This has provoked imposition of restrictions on postlarvae collection.
Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture have been recognized as important opportunities to enhance household food security in developing countries. While interventions aiming at promoting these activities reveal many positive effects, their direct and indirect impacts on nutritional status have not yet been fully documented. The objective of this paper is to identify more specifically the potential pathways that exist between fish-related livelihoods (small-scale fisheries, fish farming) and household nutritional security.
A discussion is presented on the role played by women in artisanal fisheries in Africa, considering in particular their role in post-harvest activities. Although there are great differences from one country to another, the contribution ofwomen to the sector cannot be overemphasized; from landing the fish, to processing and selling in the market, the women are often in charge. The importance of the realization of this role played by women in the planning of development projects is stressed.
The objectives of this study were first, to understand the market chain of fish as traded by women in the south-eastern Arm of Lake Malawi, with a specific focus on analyzing how fish is moved from the lake to the wholesale market. Secondly, the study identifies HIV/AIDS vulnerability factors along this market chain i.e. from the point of catch to the wholesale market.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) is increasingly using the language of transformation to describe its aims and approach to achieving lasting impact at scale. Clarity on what AAS means by “transformation” is important to ensure that use of the term is intentional and meaningful. AAS wants to avoid the risk befalling a number of terms used in the development field-i.e., empowerment and participation-which are applied by such a wide range of actors with divergent intent and ideology that the terms lose meaning.
Rural households who fail to gain a voice in decisions over the management of shared forests, pasturelands, wetlands and fisheries face heightened risks to their livelihoods, particularly as competition increases between existing and new user groups. Exclusion from decision-making increases vulnerability of rural households, making it more difficult for them to move out of poverty and thwarting broader efforts to achieve sustainable resource management. Poor rural women in particular often face institutionalized barriers to effective participation in resource management.