Impact of women involvement in fisheries on socio-economics of fisher households in Negombo, Sri Lanka




The socio-economics of the households in Wellaweediya fishing village in Negombo, Sri Lanka were studied in relation to women involvement in fisheries. No women in the village were engaged in pre-harvest activities and catching fish. Of the women involved in fisheries, about 50% were involved in fish processing activities such as gutting, salting and sun-drying. Those who were involved in gutting of fish earned about Rs. 300.00 for working for 6 hours per day while those who were engaged in salting and sun-drying were paid only Rs. 200.00 for working for about 12 hours per day. About 31% were involved in marketing the catch. By working for about 3½ hours per day, they earned Rs. 200.00 - 700.00. About 13% were involved in removing fish from small meshed gill nets and they were paid about Rs. 100.00 for working for 2 hours per day. The balance 6% were involved in collecting fish in to transportation baskets and for working for about 2 hours they were paid Rs. 100.00 if the catch was good and Rs. 50.00 if the catch was poor. The women labour of those involved in salting and drying and collecting fish into transportation baskets were found to be exploited with gender discrimination. The mean monthly income of the households where women were involved in fisheries was about Rs. 9350.00, which was about twice of the income of the households where women were not involved in fisheries. Most of the women involved in fisheries could not write and/or read and spent a more traditional way of life. Husbands of most of them were regular consumers of liquor. These women have not changed their gender based household division of labour and carried out activities such as cooking, washing, taking care of children etc.

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