Women fish traders in Kenya to get training
Monday, November 24, 2003
The Nation (Nairobi, Kenya)
A non-formal education programme targeting women fish traders has been launched in Kisumu, Kenya.
Funded by the Women in the Fishing Industry Project, the programme seeks to reduce the exploitation and cultural biases against women traders working on Lake Victoria shores through distance learning.
It also seeks to fight rampant human rights abuses and bias against women by other players in the industry.
The organisation is also planning a micro-finance scheme to offer revolving loans to the traders, many of who expose themselves to sexual exploitation as they seek credit.
The project's managing trustee, Ms Jennipher Kere, said her organisation had engaged professional health workers and business consultants to teach the women through radio programmes.
"We want the women to change their lifestyles and to acquire best business practices that would enable them benefit from the industry," Ms Kere told the project's launch at the Tom Mboya Labour College. She added that selected women fish traders would soon benefit for the revolving loan.
Women from four beaches in Nyando, Kisumu and Bondo districts have already been trained on small business management skills, Home based health care and basic knowledge on the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Women form about 70 per cent of artisan fish traders around the lake Victoria but were still unable to compete with men because of lack of funds and ignorance of their rights, according to the Lake Victoria Fisheries Research Organisation.