A Thai woman gets ready to process threadfin salmon for the market. Photo: Supaporn Anuchiracheeva, the Small-scale Fishers and Organic Fisheries Products Project.
In bold outline, the take home messages from the GAF6 full report – Engendering Security in Fisheries and Aquaculture – converge on the following: women’s voices and gender equity champions can make a real difference; and a gender lens lets us see inequalities and how to remedy them. These points were woven through the 68 rich and varied presentations, panels, posters and workshops of GAF6. Read the full report here, see the take home messages below.
- Participants were urged to focus on gender relationships, not simply roles, and on intersectionality, as women’s and men’s lives were interconnected and gender interacted with other systems in society, e.g., cultural, political and economic structures.
- The 2014 Small-Scale Fisheries Voluntary Guidelines are opening up new policy space on gender equality. Yet, in implementing the Guidelines, women have been deterred from taking part in decision-making, are invisible in most fisheries statistics and their interests excluded from national policies – unless NGOs and women’s groups have advocated for inclusion. Even when women’s needs are recognized, money and expertise may not have been allocated. In a hopeful sign, some recent projects are committed to gender equality.
- Aquaculture is gendered. Gender roles and relationships in aquaculture follow typical social patterns of ownership, rights and power. Unless they break out as entrepreneurs, women are positioned in small-scale, near-home, and low technology aquaculture, or as low-paid labour in medium and industrial scale operations. Nevertheless, small-scale household aquaculture can fulfill important subsistence roles and be improved to better satisfy food security and nutrition.
- A persistent thread on fair livelihoods in fish value chains was that gender equality and equity must be fought for, and protected by active measures, rather than expecting it to happen through a sense of natural justice.
- Using a gender lens brings deeper understanding of climate and disaster adaptation. Flexibility, versatility and agency are keys to people’s resilience. Gender-blind efforts to help people adapt should always be challenged.
- Real progress in securing gender equality will not be achieved unless social norms are transformed.
Read the whole GAF6 report here – Link
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Angela Lentisco reports on the Centre for Maritime Research (MARE) Conference in Amsterdam (26 to 28th June 2013), panel sessions led by Easkey Britton on Engaging Gender for Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods and Improved Social Wellbeing: Perspectives from the Global North and South.
Men making fishing nets, coastal western Ghana. Photo: E. Allison.
“The panel presentations (which you can download from the links on this website) were food for thought, covering aspects related to gender and fisheries/marine/coastal environment, and the improvements that need to be done in the value chain, particularly on markets, identifying possible negative consequences, and ways to empower women with special attention given to women’s own perceptions of their occupational activity and their sense of self-worth. The role that women play in social cohesion and community wellbeing appeared several times during the panel, but so did the concern on women’s overburden, and the possibility of gender based violence as an unfortunate consequence of changes in gender roles. This issue was also explored during the presentation on maritime masculinities, and the expressed need to focus some of the research on men, due to the important role they also must play in attaining equitable societies. I presented the future directions of the Genderaquafish network and discussed in more detail potential joint initiatives between the Too Big to Ignore Project and the Gender Network during coffee/lunch breaks.”
Read Angela’s full report https://genderaquafish.org/events/mare-panel-addresses-the-highs-and-lows-of-gender-issues/ and view the PPTs.
Elizabeth Matthews. Using a gender perspective to improve marine conservation and fisheries management programs
Angela Lentisco. Getting Gender on the Fisheries and Aquaculture and Fisheries Agenda in Asia and the Pacific: 20 Years of Asian Fisheries Society Experience
Edward Allison. A ‘provocation’ on maritime masculinities – and why they matter for marine resource management
Minghua Zhao. Women and Social Cohesion: Preliminary Findings in Fishing Communities in Three EU Countries
NC Britton. The hidden costs of gender-based violence in an Irish fishing community: a new pathway to policy and structural change
Easkey Britton. Women as agents of wellbeing in Northern Ireland fishing households
Posted in Angela Lentisco, Conservation, Easkey Britton, Events, awards, grants, employment, Fish post-harvest, Fisheries, Gender, Gender and development, Global, India, Kerala, MARE, Men, Natural resource management, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Women