Sharing the Catch: Understanding Women's Roles and Work in Uganda's Lake Victoria Fisheries
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This paper examines the divisions of labour between women and men in the artisanal fisheries of Uganda’s Lake Victoria. Traditionally in Uganda gender norms prescribe fishing as a male occupation, while women have generally tended to carry out the activities of fish processing (such as filleting, smoking, and drying), and fish mongering. As a result, women’s direct access to financial capital is mediated through men—leading women to engage in a variety of innovative strategies that give them access to financial capital. Based on qualitative interviews conducted in Uganda from August to December 2014, my paper identifies three major livelihood challenges encountered by women: 1) Women’s access to fish is mediated through their interactions with fishermen; 2) Women are often cheated by men in business relationships; 3) Some women choose to engage in sexual relationships with fishermen, while others do not. The thesis further explores the use of these adaptive strategies and their implications for female livelihoods. Using Naila Kabeer’s Social Relations Approach Framework (SRF) as my theoretical lens, findings suggest that issues of gender equality do indeed affect women’s access to fish and financial capital.