Volume 65

Women in a Fish Market in Barbados

McConney, P., V. Nicholls, and B. Simmons
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Date: November, 2012

Pages: 26 - 30

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty-Fifth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Santa Marta

Country: Colombia


Fishing is usually male work. Yet “fisheries” are much more than just “fishing”. Recent investigation on a global scale has shown that if supporting activities (e.g. credit supply) and postharvest (e.g. fish processing and trade) are taken into account, then females may be in the majority. This does not count the growing number of women in policy, management, science, education, civil society, and other activities related to fisheries. CARICOM countries typically have few gender disaggregated fisheries data useful for comparing and assessing the roles and contributions of women and men. The authors conducted research at the Oistins fish market in Barbados, focusing on its successful female fish vendors and other women. Through livelihoods analysis we sought deeper understanding of how society, culture, formal and informal education, household arrangements, and entrepreneurship combined with other factors to shape the involvement of women in fisheries. Results are presented on some of their vulnerabilities, seasonal calendar of activities, multiple household occupations, time use patterns, and strategies for achieving livelihood outcomes. There are marked differences in seasonal patterns of activity, and access to credit was identified as a constraint to entrepreneurship.

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