Asian Fisheries Society

Gender Relations and Improved Technologies in Small Household Ponds in Bangladesh: Rolling out Novel Learning Approaches

Abstract:

Gender-transformative engagement in the management of household ponds in Bangladesh for improved fish production relies on working with the complexities of gender relations in combination with a readiness by formally-trained scientists to allow women and men farmers to "follow the technology". Innovative methodologies for technology development and dissemination need to focus on promoting farmer adaptive capacity and enabling farmers to take charge of their own learning. This is not a gender-neutral process. Working with development partners, value chain actors, communities, families and individuals to remove gender-based constraints to women's full participation in managing household ponds is essential. So too is continually demonstrating the benefits of more equitable gender relations in terms of improved production and productivity, better intra-household food and income security and stronger, more flexible livelihood planning. The present study examines two projects drawn from the work of WorldFish and its partners in Khulna Division, South West Bangladesh that are compared and discussed. The cases used an analytical framework based on different gender and learning approaches to compare the outcome of the two field projects, each located in different quadrants of the framework. It found that effective gender-transformative engagement in the aquaculture sector is predicated on more complex understandings of gender in combination with a readiness by formally trained scientists to allow women and men farmers to "follow the technology". Innovative methodologies for technology development and dissemination should focus on promoting farmer adaptive capacity and enabling them to take charge of their own learning. For further work rigorous research designs are required for better understanding of what works in applying gender transformational approaches. Women are, however, empowered even without "transformational" training on gender when access to knowledge and resources is possible along with purposive targeting.

Publication Date : 2016-11-10

Volume : 29

Issue : Special Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries: The Long Journey to Equality

Page : 161-178

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Date 2016/11/10
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