Chiela Women’s Group: “No sex for fish”

Imagine, you are a woman in the fishing trade. Preparing fish for the market and for sales at the beach. Fishermen are men and they bring the fish ashore. Fish stock has decreased since many years, due to overfishing. That is why the fishermen can ask any price for the fish, even sex. Women and their family depend on the fishing trade for their income, so they pay what the men ask. And as these men do not like to use preservatives, HIV/Aids is increasing.


When discussing these matters with the women, they came up with two ideas.

One was to have a motorboat for themselves. It will make them less dependent of men and will help them earn a sustainable income for their families. They could also use the boat for boat rides for tourists on Lake Victoria. One of the Chiela Women group members has a certificate to guide tourists.

The second idea was to get fish cages for cage culture. With fish cages they would have a regular supply of fish, which will help them even more. They could have two fish harvests a year.

These two alternatives would make them independent from men within 2 to 3 years.

SWAP, our local partner, trains the women in business skills and starts up a program on gender equality. When men see how women grow they may be willing to collaborate instead of competing. They will all get the chance to increase their incomes and to face future problems to overcome their problems.

For this project, we are collaborating with Wilde Ganzen. This Dutch foundation advises us and funds a third of the total amount needed.