Giving Voice to Women in Small-Scale Fisheries

ECO_CARE meets the University of Turin’s most creative students – second episode

As a second episode of the “ECO_CARE meets…” blog edition for the month of April 2023, here comes the story of the group of students that, attending the course on Administrative Law and Agenda 2030 (Margherita Poto, Gabriella Racca and Giuliana Panieri), developed a creative video project on SDG 5 and SDG 14. To give voice to the women in the fishery sector, Martina Cireddu sang on the soundtrack.

Here below is their personal recount of the project.

Giving Voice to Women in Small-Scale Fisheries

By Martina Cireddu, Andrea Donadio, Nicolo’ Gianoglio, Shenai, Piao Matilde Provera, Tommaso Robaldo, Carlotta Zitta

During the Administrative Law course, we have been asked to focus on the importance of the role of women within the small-scale fishers industry, thus linking up with SDG 5. Concluding that gender equality in the context of small-scale fisheries is still in its early stages.

  1. Introduction

Gender equality is defined as the “enjoyment of equal rights, opportunities and treatment by men and women and by boys and girls in all spheres of life”. In small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, the circumstances, involvement, constraints, barriers, options, and benefits are often different for women and men. Some social norms and conventions make the general assumption/expectation that fishing is an activity most suited for men, even if of course this is not true.

Women in the small-scale fisheries sector have diverse capacities, capabilities, and levels of power. Women are often engaged in processing and selling fish. In some cases, women own boats and finance fishing operations that employ men and in other cases, they conduct their own fishing. But in the majority of cases, women face inequalities in terms of accessing resources, services, employment opportunities, taking part in decision-making, and more.

  1. Our work focus

At the beginning of our research, we were convinced that the topics which we have been asked to study were not correlated and distant from our lives. By starting the project we quickly changed our minds.

We knew that in order to do good research, it is important to ask the right questions and therefore we realized that we first needed to read the data and do additional research. Here is an abstract of what we found:

As for SDG 5, Gender equality is a fundamental condition that we often take for granted, and we are still in the early stages and we are far from reaching equality between women and men in all sectors. The major disparities are linked to the percentage of occupation, wages and also to the way women are treated within their work sectors.

With regard to the second topic connected to small-scale fisheries in SDG 14, we knew that for example Italy, the country where we live, has 8300 km of costs and is almost entirely surrounded by water, our fishing culture goes back many centuries ago.

Suddenly the link between the two arguments was clear. What is the situation in the Italian small-scale fishery industry, a sector that is so rooted in the past? What is the condition of the women? Did anything change with the progress of culture?

And lately, we expanded our view worldwide. Is there any culture in which women are leading this sector? What is the situation in other countries?

Finally, we tried to answer those questions and we disclosed our ideas during the presentation in class.

  1. Our methodology

There are several elements behind a good project.

It is important to capture the attention of the listener, bringing it inside with the heart and mind and the team members united and cohesive as thought and as a way of approaching the work.

"Teamwork" is not just talking and dividing parts, but creating a strategy where thoughts, even different, are put together making it even more unique. 

And that’s why it’s important to choose your team to work in the best way, with people who make you feel welcome and where the "tune" is present.

The key points of the work must be presented in a way to avoid misunderstandings and give a general overview of the topic to those who do not know what the subject is, even if only in general. That is what our group tried to do.

First, we got together and thought about the best way to represent our thinking. The theme "Gender Inequality" was fundamental for us and given the presence of several girls in the group, it was easy to gather the opinion of women who continually have to approach a world where gender inequality is still unfortunately present.

Thanks to several hours of internet research, experiences, personal thoughts, and brainstorming we started the project.

The key as in all things is: “originality”. For this reason, we made a script and as if nothing had happened we started shooting an initial video trailer. The equipment is not everything, just a computer, a phone, creativity, and a group member able to edit videos.

After a few hours, the video was quite perfect, with music, representative images, and our speech made in the "Netflix" way.

Why did we mention originality before? Because we inserted the voice of our teammate while singing the cover  "People Help the People" by Birdy bringing added value to the final project and bringing some of us into it.

In the end, to help the completeness of the work, we decided to create an explanatory PowerPoint to go into more detail on the previously anticipated topic.

So, we can say that a good methodology is fundamental for a job.

With a “To do” mindset, cohesion, creativity, commitment and a lot of detailed information taken from the internet, a fundamental resource in our days, and an open mind we managed to create what for us is a “good result” and we hope that this has been grasped even outside.

  1. Conclusion

In conclusion, the work carried out not only allowed us to analyse and discover the role and presence of the female gender in the fishing world but also to question possible solutions to the problem of inequalities. Moreover, we were able to manage new realities to address the need for change and equality between the genders. We would also like to underline the fact that this group work not only allowed us to develop the topic but also to build a collaborative group of people, who despite having different ideas and points of view, managed to converge their skills to succeed in the best of our abilities. On the whole, we believe that the assignment was not only about presenting a topic but also about enriching our personal knowledge and skills.

Here the link to the amazing video project: Giving Voice to Women in Small-Scale Fisheries


This post may be cited as: "Martina Cireddu, Andrea Donadio, Nicolo’ Gianoglio, Shenai, Piao Matilde Provera, Tommaso Robaldo, Carlotta Zitta, Giving Voice to Women in Small-Scale Fisheries, April 5, 2023, online: here