24 Hours with Fisherwomen

Do you think that fishermen only go to sea? If so, that’s wrong. The fact is that fishing is a profession with a cycle of work that involves both men and women: from preparation, catching or cultivation to processing capture or harvest in coastal areas and waters including rivers, lakes and seas. Women who catch/peel shells, make salted fish, and salt farmers also work as fisherfolk.

In the coastal area, more than 90% of care work such as preparing supplies for fishing, cooking, washing, cleaning the house and caring for the family are carried out by women. Fisher women work hard and much longer than men. In a day, they can work for 18 hours. 

In a capitalist economic system, nursing and caring work that is mostly done by women is considered as  reproductive work, and unpaid labor because its not generate cash money. However the care work is the main support for the capitalist economic system . Including the necessity of labor  reproduction through the womb of women.

picture : Nofidaa, KPPI Gresik

Nofidaa (36 y.o) is a Kuplik fisherman or crab peeler, and she also a housewife from Ujung Pangkah Gresik, East Java. She wakes up at 5 am before doing daily household chores such as making breakfast for the family, making sure the children are fed and ready to go and then taking the children to school. From the school yard she continued shopping for groceries at the market. he continued her domestic activities such as washing, cleaning the house, cooking lunch for the family before picking up her son from school.

After school hours, around 1 pm, she works as a kuplik or crab peeler worker. To get Rp. 60.000 per day she needs to work for 3-4 hours. In the afternoon she will take the children to TPQ-learn the Qur’an, and return home to clean up and gather with her family. In the evening, she will accompany her son/daughter to study before resting around 8 pm.

If you account for domestic work Nofidaa spends about 15 hours a day. Domestic work and nurturing are just as productive as custodians, .but not counted by the “labor market”, even though without them it is impossible for male fishermen to go to sea, even the fishing sector will not exist because women are the ones who give birth and play a bigger role in raising children as a generation of fishermen. 

picture : Sri Wahyuni, KPPI Lotim

Sri Wahyuni, The Salt Farmer 

Sri Wahyuni is a salt fisher who doubles as a school principal from Jerowaru, East Lombok. In addition, she is the female head of the family who carries out the roles and responsibilities as breadwinner, household and decision maker in her family.

Every day she wakes up at 04.30 in the morning to do daily household chores. After that, she rushed to the school where she worked as the principal. At 1 pm she will return home to rest, but sometimes she also has to complete organizational tasks. She is active in various organizations such as KPPI, Muslimah and the village of TP-PKK. In the afternoon she will go to the pond to see the salt worker and take care of the administration of the salt pond. After the pond business is over, she will return home to bathe her children, to go to TPA-learning Qur’an, accompany them to study, prepare dinner and hang-out with the family before going to sleep in n.22.30 pm. 

In a day, Sri Wahyuni spends about 17 hours to carry out her roles and responsibilities. She has a dual role with workloads at home and outside the home. Her roles as breadwinners and household manager are equally important for her. Although in the labor market, household chores (domestic, care and community care) are not categorized as reproductive work (non-cash-generating). But the work is very important because it works directly for essential human needs, which cannot be served in the market. Not only that, according to Joyomenggol on the www.infid.org site it says: maintenance work also contributes to the economic value and can contribute 10% of state revenue. This value is allegedly higher than state income from the banking sector.