Women are ‘invisible’ in the fishery industry: FAO
One out of two seafood workers is a woman, yet her work is often invisible – and she is unpaid – in the industry, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.
FAO said while the men catch the fish, it is the women who clean, process, and sell the fish in the market.
It said the women also help clean the boats and do the other “dirty” jobs.
Because of their “invisible” work, FAO said women do not have access to credit and financial resources.
In the big seafood companies, FAO said women are absent in the board rooms and executive positions.
In the Philippines, data from the Department of Labor and Employment showed there are about 131, 000 women fisherfolk.
“The government should improve programs that protect and support women fisherfolk,” calls Gavina Tumbaga, a woman fisherfolk who currently chairs the Payao Credit Cooperative of the City of San Fernando La Union and the City Fishery and Aquatic Resources Management Council (CFARMC), and a member of the NAPC Fisherfolk Sectoral Council.
“There are women in the fishing industry – we can see them making fishing gears, selling fish and fish products, gathering seashells, throwing nets to catch fish – but their roles and rights are often not recognized and worse, they remain vulnerable to environmental and human-made disasters because there are no programs that address their specific needs,” Gavina Tumbaga, a member of the NAPC Fisherfolk Sectoral Council, told the Philippine Information Agency.
Tumbaga said government should improve the lot of the women fisherfolk, starting with having a gender auditing mechanism and gender-sensitive fishery policies.
She said like the male fishermen, women should also have access to credit cooperative to improve their income.