Women in the fishing economies of Kerala, India: An examination of their day-to-day experiences

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Samuel, Lina
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the changes in the fishing industry in Kerala, India and the resulting impact on the day-to-day experiences of women who work and live in fishing. By documenting women's daily routines and experiences in their work, home and social circles the research reveals the significance of social customs and traditions which continue to limit and confine women in their everyday life. While the technology inputs into the industry over the past fifty years did not have specific gender bias, the uneven distribution of assets, education, training and resources between men and women in Keralite society skewed any sort of benefits away from women. Despite the varied roles women play in the fishing industry, the income women earn from working has not altered the pre-existing exploitative relations between men and women. Divisions based on a rigid caste system, the emulation of upper caste behaviour, the continued practice of the dowry, traditional perceptions of women's responsibilities combine to place women in a secondary and subservient position relative to men.

women, fishing industry, Kerala, India, day-to-day experiences, caste system