“The Long Journey to Gender Equality” is the title of the recently (Nov 2016) released Special Issue of The Asian Fisheries Science Journal.

This Special Issue of Asian Fisheries Science journal includes research papers, reports based on the presentations and posters of the 5th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF5) held during the 10th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum, November 2014, Lucknow, India.and contains many practical and theoretical insights. (Download here: http://www.asianfisheriessociety.org/publication/archivedetails.php?id=139)


The Journal includes:


In the Barotse Floodplain, Zambia, many factors restrict people’s abilities to engage in activities to secure food and income. Women, and in particular resident women, are especially constrained by gender norms and power relations. Resident women typically rely on other, less remunerative livelihoods. Having greater capital, education and confidence, non-resident women fish traders have different relations with fishers but their negotiations can still put them at a personal and economic disadvantage in securing fish. Findings from two qualitative studies show how deep rooted certain norms, practices and power relations are and their influence shaping women’s (and men’s) participation in key nodes of the value chain.

By analysing the situation of women fish processors in Battambang, Cambodia, the study found that the reasons women have difficulty in organising collective business are not only the characteristics of resources (fluctuating and diminishing supply of fish) or user groups (and women’s time poverty) but the gender power relations that make it impossible for women traders to work collectively. The particular nature of product and market make women processors dependent on Thai traders. Hence they compete rather than cooperate to sell to the Thai market.

The project “Thematic Studies on Gender in Aquaculture in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam”, undertook studies in Lower Mekong Initiative countries, namely Cambodia, Lao PDR (Lao People’s Democratic Republic), Thailand and Vietnam, to assess the current status of gender policies relevant to aquaculture, key issues in women’s empowerment and participation in aquaculture value chains, and identified organisations working on promoting gender in aquaculture. This paper focused on the process, challenges and opportunities of running a project which introduces gender studies into mainstream aquaculture institutes.



  • The Traditional Knowledge (TK) of communities is closely linked to their way of life. The present study documented the TK of Meitei community in Manipur state in North East India. Women are a very prominent presence in the fishery related activities. They carry out fishing using traditional, simple and easy to manoeuver gear. Women are also active in processing fish for household use as well as for sale of dried, smoked and fermented fish. Marketing is almost entirely dominated by women, an example of which is the unique exclusive women’s market Nupi Keithal.
  • The important Vembanad estuarine system in Kerala, India provides livelihoods for the inland fishing community. This paper documents the fishing methods and examines the challenges faced by women whose fishing activities are confined to the inland water bodies. Women carry out fishing by traditional techniques that provide a better than subsistence living. This involvement is declining, however, with the younger generation showing no interest due to the drudgery and legal issues over rights to fishing.