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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to Broadcasters on women fishers:

The gender roles described in this story are not limited to fishing communities in Uganda. In researching this story, we found that the situation is similar in other parts of Africa – and elsewhere around the world – where people make their livelihoods by fishing. Men traditionally own the fishing assets and bring in the fish while women are involved in the labour-intensive processes of preparing and preserving fish. Women often sell the fish, as well. These traditional roles, combined with traditional beliefs, have limited women’s ability to profit from their work in the fishing industry. In Uganda, the government estimates that women contribute more than 70 per cent of the labour to the industry, but take home less than half of the profit. As this story mentions, the male-dominated culture around fishing has also made women vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

If you would like further information on this story, you may visit:
-the Ugandan government’s Fisheries Sector Strategic Plan: http://p15166578.pureserver.info/ilm/docs/policy/Provisional%20Fisheries%20Strategy%20Sector%20Plan.pdf
-a report by PlusNews on how the fish trade in Kenya is aiding the spread of HIV and AIDS: http://www.plusnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=39200

Whether or not you broadcast to a fishing community, you may wish to discuss some of the gender role issues raised by this story:
-how is labour divided between women and men in the farms or fish ports of your area?
-are women in your area able to purchase and own farming or fishing assets – both under law and according to local customs?
-are there women’s groups or other groups in your area who are working to promote women’s involvement in non-traditional industries or changing women’s roles within traditional industries?

Finally, you may wish to re-visit the following two DCFRN scripts related to fishing, gender, and traditional practices:
-“Three Fishing Ladies with a Message about Solar Dryers” from November 2006 (Package 79, Script 6)
-“No more female genital cutting: Villages in Senegal celebrate 10 years of women’s rights” from our most recent script package (Package 82). You can find the full text of this script in the “Script of the Week” section, or link to it online at: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/82-4script_en.asp

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