Gender Equality and Rural Women’s Empowerment Network
Near East and North Africa Region
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FAO - Gender

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Lifting the veil on Tunisia’s clam fisheries (French)

The interval between the gathering and local sale of clams in the Mediterranean port of Skhira, 300 km south of Tunis close to the industrial city of Sfax, and their export to Rome or Madrid, is a mere 48 hours. However, a wide gulf separates the Tunisian woman who gathers these valuable shellfish by hand and a restaurant owner in Rome: while a fisher receives a little over 1 euro per kilo (3 Tunisian dinars) for the clams she digs, a restaurateur will earn 10 to 15 times that amount. Most rural women living around the Gulf of Gabes derive their main livelihood from beach clam fishing. FAO fishery industry expert, Yvette Diei Ouadi, explains that FAO is supporting the Tunisian Government in a participatory strategy-development process to strengthen the role of women in the clam subsector with the aim of maximizing their income and sustaining clam stocks, in particular by paving the way for other development activities. Despite her robust constitution, one beach clam fisher, Saliha, complains: “Beach clam fishing is gruelling. Every day, we walk long distances at low tide, bent over in a very uncomfortable position under a blazing sun, standing in mud or up to the knees in icy sea water.” “The clams we harvest for direct sale are landed in the port out in the open, with no shelter to protect women from possible bad weather during our transactions with middlemen who show little respect for our efforts,” adds Agla, one of Saliha’s companions.

11/19/2012 12:00:00 AM
Type: mp3 | Viewed:  3615
Duration:  09:16