Chiara Negrello


Like the tide




Italy has a variable level of gender equity between regions and between the lines that divide home and work.
In the fishing industry, in Southern Italy, it is almost unthinkable for a woman to go fishing. Men go out to sea and women stay at home. While in regions like Tuscany, talking to old fishermen, one hears that having women in the boat brings bad luck. In this tangle of culture, traditions, politics and patriarchy, three generations of fisherwomen from the Po Delta have been part of the economic driving force that has lifted their families and the region. The Po Delta bases its entire economy on clam harvesting, and in this area it is common to see women going down to fish, owning a boat, and working just as hard as a man. At dawn they go down into the water and lift heavy weights, in bad and bad weather, in the warmth of summer and the bitter cold of winter. When they get home, they devote all the rest of their time to their family, with the same intensity and commitment with which they fish. The purpose of this work is to show how the apparently banal lives of these women can be an example that overcomes the gender stereotypes that still exist in countries that often claim to be advanced.