Rwandan Women Paddle Into the Male World of Fishing

In the evening, the green leaves of the verdant hills of Lake Kivu turned black against the orange sky, and a calm settled across the water. And then, out of the silence, came a call: “Here we go! May God watch over us!” It’s a refrain that is a tradition here on Lake Kivu, where for generations men have cast out at sunset on small wooden boats to fish through the night. But that night, it was chanted by women.

Zawadi Karikumutima, 32, readied her boat for a night on the water. She was not alone. Several other women loaded wooden rafts with supplies, while their children watched them from the muddy banks, and prepared themselves for the long night ahead.

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