COUNTRY/TOWN: Senegal/ Basque Country / San Sebastián
Yemoja is the African goddess of the sea and fishermen, especially venerated in Senegal. The Yemoja networks project works in the fishing world to strengthen women’s leadership in managing fishing cooperatives in Senegal, a sector generally organised as family businesses where gender division of labour prevents women from attaining full independence.
The MxA Foundation, together with ASPEGI, the Association of Businesswomen from Gipuzkoa, will work with Yayi Bayam Diouf, the first fisherwoman from the village of Thiaroye-sur-Mer in Senegal, to boost her professionalism and leadership. Diouf directs the Vocational Training Centre for women and young people, where she trains fisherwomen. The Gipuzkoa provincial government (Diputacion de Gipuzkoa) is sponsoring this project.
The initiative has been planned with the ambition of fostering women’s leadership and their active participation in the fishing sector, and of improving the performance of the fisherwomen’s cooperative in Thiaroye Sur Mer. The programme is based on exchanging knowledge and good practices between the centre’s women and the Basque province’s fishing sector. Among other activities, there will be training sessions on leadership and coaching, mentoring, human rights and gender violence, as well as on new techniques for producing, processing and packaging fishing products. The launching of a loans unit will also be encouraged, and materials for the fishing business will be purchased. In addition, communication strategies will be carried out with community radio stations, the human rights committee and the Association of Senegalese Jurists to raise awareness about women’s rights, and especially for women involved in fishing, and about the project.
The project will be carried out in the last quarter of 2019 and will include a preliminary needs identification phase followed by implementation of the action plan in Gipuzkoa.