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Invisible Nets

Invisible Nets: Improving the Conditions of Women Fish Vendors



Kerala shares one-tenth of the India’s coastline. This provides Kerala a strategic position in fish production. Unique to Kerala, women play a much critical role in the sector. Women fish vendors who deliver the late night catch to hundreds of homes live in poor conditions and suffer from many health problems due to the arduous nature of their work. Though they render a service to people, they are the most unorganized workforce in Kerala, a state known for its aggressive trade unionism. The women fish vendors are often looked down by others, they even suffer discrimination while travelling in buses to bring the catch from coastal villages to the city.
Fish vending women are forced to play the major role for the domestic economic survival as men lost their traditional role due to modernization of the fish production process.




Fish vending women in Six Coastal regions – Anjengo, Puthukurichi, Valiathura, Kovalam, Pulluvila and Thoothoor in Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala




Key Intervention Areas:
The Program aims at addressing the major injustices suffered by the fish vending women and they are:
• No access to market and basic infrastructures like sheds, tables, chairs, iceboxes etc. and facilities such as proper drinking water, toilets, and place for changing dress etc. in the market
• Exploitation by middlemen and moneylenders etc.
• Physical harassment at market place and home.


Strategies of the Intervention
• Institution development for livelihood development and better facilities in work place.
• Improve health and hygiene practices with emphasis on reproduction health.
• Reduce physical violence on women