”A lot of women involved in the fish trade are single parents. For them, fish represents the main and sometimes only source of income; the survival of the family depends on it”.
Idag, den 8 mars, firar vi den Internationella kvinnodagen – en dag där ojämställdhet och kvinnors situation världen över särskilt uppmärksammas. Inom fiskesektorn så har kvinnors arbete och bidrag till fattigdomsbekämpning, tryggad livsmedelsförsörjning och landets ekonomi länge varit underskattat och ofta osynligt. Förutom detta så har kvinnor i fiskesamhällen ofta sämre tillgång till såväl ekonomiska, sociala, humana och naturresurser och förbises ofta i beslutsfattande processer gällande deras livsuppehälle. Normer och strukturer som leder till denna ojämställdhet tar tid att förändra men är självklart möjligt. Naturskyddsföreningen, och dess samarbetsorganisationer, arbetar aktivt med att organisera, synliggöra, och för inkluderandet av kvinnors roll, behov och intressen i beslut, policyer och lagar rörande fiskeresurser. Detta har gett resultat, vilket de nyligen antagna Internationella riktlinjerna för småskaligt fiske är ett bevis på.
Det västafrikanska fiskenätverket CAOPA befinner sig dagen till ära i Nouakchott (Mauretanien) för att synliggöra kvinnor i fiskesektorn. På plats finns kvinnor från flertalet västafrikanska länder i syftet att göra sina röster hörda hos såväl nationella beslutsfattare som Afrikanska Unionen. Nedan följer deras tal (på engelska):
”Declaration of Nouakchott
We, women fish merchants, fishmongers, and fish processors from the African artisanal fishing sector, members of organisations united in the African Confederation of Artisanal Fisheries Professional organizations (CAOPA), meeting in Nouakchott on the eight (08) of March Two Thousand and sixteen (2016), on the occasion of the International Women’s Day:
- Whereas the African Union has declared 2016 the African Year of human rights;
- Whereas the Universal Declaration of Human rights adopted by the UN General Assembly on the 10th December 1948 in Paris proclaims the fundamental human rights and the equal rights of men and women;
- Having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted by the eighteenth Conference of Heads of State and Governments, in June 1981 in Nairobi, Kenya, whereby Member States recognize that the State has the duty to ensure the elimination of discrimination against women and to ensure the protection of the rights of women and children;
- Having regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: ‘Transforming our World’, adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, which aims to achieve human rights for all, equality between the sexes and the empowerment of women and girls;
- Considering the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Sustainable artisanal fisheries that advocate for responsible fisheries governance and socio-economic sustainability, to the benefit of present and future generations, with a particular focus on vulnerable and marginalized groups and people – such as women, children and the elderly, indigenous peoples and groups in situations of food insecurity – therefore advocating a human rights-based approach;
- Considering that the Strategy of Reform of fisheries and aquaculture policy adopted by the African Union pursues similar goals;
- Whereas, through these instruments, the FAO and the African Union recognize equality and non-discrimination between men and women, participation, inclusiveness of men and women in decision-making;
- Whereas artisanal fisheries employ, at the global level, more than 90 percent of fishworkers, about half of which are women, thus supporting the local economies;
- Whereas many artisanal fishing communities in Africa continue to be marginalized and their potential contribution to food security, to the eradication of poverty, to sustainable development and use of resources – benefiting these communities as well as others – is not fully realized;
- Whereas African artisanal fishing communities are often located in remote areas and generally have only limited or difficult access to markets, not to mention that they have often only minimal access to health, education and other social services. They have other characteristics in common, such as the low level of education and low health of the population (incidence rate of HIV/AIDS is often higher than average in fishing communities) and inadequate organisational structures.
- Whereas coastal pollution, the deterioration of the environment, the effects of climate change and natural and man-made disasters are additional threats to those already weighing on our communities.
We, women of African artisanal fishing communities, highlight that we are present at all stages of the African artisanal fishing value chain: preparation and financing of fishing trips, fish reception and fish processing and marketing. We are also the pillar of the family, in charge of the education of children and household management. Therefore, we play, equally as men do, a key role for ensuring food security and nutrition, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and use of Resources;
- In order to allow us to participate fully in the economic and social development of Africa, we call for the taking into account, in any coastal zone development policy, of the impacts of such developments on artisanal fishing communities. We also call for the establishment of welfare infrastructure in the coastal areas (electricity, running water, hospital, schools).
- We also wish that artisanal fishing communities women have easier access to training in management, entrepreneurship and value addition to our products, to improve our revenues and our living conditions.
We therefore request:
- That the African Union includes the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for sustainable artisanal fisheries in its reform strategy for African fisheries and aquaculture policies;
- That our States implement these guidelines in their national legislations and involve artisanal fishing communities in their legislative reforms.
- In this context, we support the demand introduced by the CAOPA to the African Union to declare 2017 the ‘African Year of Artisanal Fisheries’, in order to popularize the FAO guidelines, and the African Union reform strategy, for an appropriate involvement of all stakeholders.”