Cultural conflict as a correlation of commercialising fishing industry on gender roles: a case of Nyacheb village, Mbita District, Kenya

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Kampala International University,College of Humanities and Social Sciences
This study set out to establish the implications of commercialising fishing industry on gender roles in the fishing community. This was done through an analysis of the dynamic and changing gender roles in the fishing sector resulting from commercialisation focusing on the experiences of a fishing community, Nyachebe village Mbita district Kenya A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection were used to conduct the research that: examined the influence of culture on women and mens’ participation in commercialised fisheries; studied how commercialisation of fisheries has affected the traditional womens’ and mens’ roles in the household and the wider community; analyse the changing roles of women and men, and their participation in various commercialised activities related to the fisheries sector; analyse the benefits derived by men and women from commercialised fisheries and account for any variations; and examine the coping and transformative strategies adopted by women and men to cope with or transform the unfavourable situations that may have arisen out of the commercialisation process. Findings pointed to enormous gendered variations in the experiences of the community studied. Key findings prove that the fisheries sector is highly ritualised and that cultural practices of the community determine whether or not a man or a woman will perform a role related to fishing and that to some extent, cultural barriers have been broken and challenged by women, In addition it is true that enormous benefits have resulted from the new commercialised environment to both women and men but losses too are abound and it matters whether one has grasped the whole game or strengthened their roles in the fishing sector which influence the positioning of the actor to either benefit, loose or opt out. Further, findings indicate diversification of livelihoods as a key coping strategy with men having more of these “temporary” solutions than women, On the other hand women were found to have designed a more effective transformative strategy than men which placed these women as a group in a more advantageous position than men who often acted individually. Recommendations: reviving and promoting the cooperative movement especially for fishermen and women; promoting and strengthening women only fishing associations, reviewing and providing for gender equality in employment terms of fisheries companies; ensuring that government put economic policies and implement taking into account the cultural and context and gender dynamics of the societies they target; and promoting education for all Kenyans including focusing on entrepreneurial skills.
A Thesis Presented to the School of Postgraduate Studies and Research Kampala International University Kampala, Uganda in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Masters of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Peace Building
Cultural, Conflict, Fishing, Gender, Roles