Well-being and mobility of female-heads of households in a fishing village in south India

Fazeeha Ibrahim, Ragnhild Lund, Nitya Rao, Manimohan Renganathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


This paper focuses on how Female Heads of Households (FHHs) in a village in Cuddalore District, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, have tried to achieve their various well-being targets and overcome their vulnerabilities through engaging in fish trading and auctioning that in turn involves moving within and outside their village. The study is based on a three-week fieldwork undertaken in April and May 2017, including multiple methods, such as observations, village walks, informal discussions, focus group discussions, and in-depth interviews. We address how FHHs’ well-being intersects with old vulnerabilities that are an inherent part of their fishing culture (caste, class and gender) and new vulnerabilities created due to precarities related to mechanized fishing, modernization and post-tsunami development. We found that the complex situation of vulnerability and precarity in the fishing sector have affected the material, relational, and subjective wellbeing of FHHs differently, benefitting some female auctioneers but not the majority of fish vendors. In particular, the mobility of younger FHHs was restricted due to familial and social expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-648
Number of pages22
JournalGender, Place and Culture
Issue number5
Early online date1 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Female heads of households (FHHs), fish vendors, well-being, mobility, vulnerability

Cite this