The 34 year old series of FAO-Norwegian fisheries projects based on capacity building and use of the Research Vessel (R/V) Dr Fridtjof Nansen has released the report of its first gender audit. The latest phase of the Nansen work is based on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF), hence the need to take a much more concerted look at how gender equity figures in its work. It is heartening to see the EAF-Nansen project take this in-depth look at gender.
The report, “Gender Audit and Recommendations for Mainstreaming Gender in the EAF-Nansen Project,” was written by Ceciel Brugere, based on her analyses, surveys and interviews with project partners. It concludes that:
Despite its numerous achievements, the EAF-Nansen project so far has missed opportunities to mainstream a gender perspective in its design and implementation. This is … due in large part to the fact that gender awareness is assumed to exist and gender dimensions taken ‘naturally’ into account, and to the fact that much of the EAF guidance relied upon by the project does not give much prominence to the gender dimensions of fisheries management.
The audit makes 19 fundamental and achievable recommendations, aimed at improving:
- the overall depth of attention given to ‘human’ issues in fisheries management to ensure that gender is included in these, both in capacity development and in the studies underpinning fisheries management, and
- its reporting, monitoring and evaluation.
As part of its data gathering, the audit canvassed country partner views on gender matters, including on how they would like to see gender capacity building delivered at individual and institutional levels, giving good guidance to institutional leaders.
The next steps in how the EAF-Nansen project takes up these challenges will be interesting to follow. Its pre-eminent position in the developing regions in which it works can have wide ranging impact.