01 Sep Expanding Efforts to Support Blue Swimming Crab (BSC) Fishers in Central Java
This month CTC returned to Gedongmulyo village in Rembang District, Central Java for an in-depth survey of gender perceptions and needs identification to support capacity-building for local blue swimming crab (BSC) women fishers. The survey aims to provide additional data to start a pilot project to support gender equity in sustainable BSC fisheries in Central Java.
Our Fisheries Training Specialist Wienda Ardiyani and Virtual Training Officer Nadia Qurotha visited the site twice in a month. Both trips aimed to understand the role of gender in BSC fisheries, a live-in approach provided an opportunity for CTC representatives to make direct observations of the community, interacting closely with different fishing groups in Layur, one of several sub-villages in Gedongmulyo. During their stay, they also gathered background information on the demographics and social-economics of the village.
According to the findings of semi-structured interviews with 102 respondents, the majority of people in Gedongmulyo still consider men as primary leaders. They are not, however, completely opposed to women being able to express their ideas and opinions, as well as make decisions. “Unfortunately, most women are still unaware that they are already household leaders and decision makers, particularly in financial management,” stated Wienda recently.
The survey also indicates an equal distribution of roles and information between male and female in Gedongmulyo. While most men sail, women are always in charge of preparing fishing supplies and repairing damaged nets. At the end of the day, majority of the woman can earn up to IDR 50,000 (USD 3.50) per day to support her family’s income by efforts in repairing nets. Some women also act as middlepersons, regulating the BSC trade at village level, while others work as BSC pickers, small shop owner, and producers of various fisheries products.
CTC intends to hold workshops and trainings to assist BSC fisherwomen in Gedongmulyo to build their capacity, particularly in communication and small-business group development. Leadership and public speaking are among essential skills that will enable women to promote BSC as their leading fisheries product to marketers and stakeholders outside of the village, such as at district, provincial and national levels. Besides providing capacity building for women fishers, CTC will also provide basic knowledge about conservation for the villagers in Gedongmulyo.
CTC has also identified 20 women survey respondents who have expressed an interest in participating in self-improvement and development activities. Others expressed interested but remained hesitant due to their household responsibilities.
CTC will also train local fishery extension officers, government staff and local non-government organization (NGO) partners so that they can serve as training facilitators and engage BSC fisherwomen in Gedongmulyo. The series of trainings will begin in November until mid-2024.
CTC’s support to BSC women fishers in Central Java replicates a similar program delivered earlier in Lampung. Between 2021 and 2022, CTC has trained 27 BSC fisherwomen in two Lampung villages about business model canvas, leadership and learning networks. In addition, CTC has collaborated with local governments and other NGO partners to ensure that the role of women is recognized in provincial legislation and plans for sustainable BSC fisheries in Lampung. (*)
Photos: Wienda Ardiyani/CTC & Nadia Qurotha/CTC