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A "feminist perspective" in fisheries builds on the fact that women of fishing communities take on multidimensional roles that straddle both production and reproduction...


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Issue No:54
  • :May
  • :2017
  • :English

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which replaced the Millennium Development Goals, set new targets for sustainable development by the year 2030. Among the SDGs, SDG 14, which specifically calls for the sustainable use of marine resources, is the focus of the upcoming United Nations Ocean Conference, scheduled to take place in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017. This conference is extremely relevant for the fisheries sector, given the large number of powerful stakeholders currently seeking control over marine and fisheries resources. In the context, it is important to emphasise that there are several factors that are crucial in determining the sustainable development of these resources. A major factor is the role of women in fisheries.

Studies of small-scale fisheries across the globe show how women contribute to the sustainability of the fisheries sector. They also show that where women have greater agency, they contribute to improving value addition and productivity in the sector. In the context, SDG 5 that emphasizes gender equality and empowerment of women and children is very important, not only for equity and for the rights of women, but also from the perspective of sustainable economic growth in small-scale fisheries.


The Entebbe Declaration

By Venugopalan N (icsf@icsf.net), Programme Manager, ICSF

On 8 March 2017, more than 60 women fishmongers and fish processors from the artisanal sector, representing organizations from Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Djibouti, Uganda, Mali, Togo, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, the Republic of Guinea, Chad and Morocco, and other African states, gathered in Entebbe, Uganda, under the auspices of the African Confederation of the Professional Artisanal Fishing Organizations (CAOPA), to observe International Women’s Day. On this occasion, a document titled ‘The Entebbe Declaration’ was released.

Acknowledging that artisanal fisheries employs about 90 per cent of the total numbers in capture fisheries, and recognizing women’s crucial contributions at every stage of the artisanal value chain, the Entebbe Declaration asserts that “women in African artisanal fisheries must claim full participation and equal representation and leading positions within the artisanal fisheries professional organisations, as well as equal participation in decision making processes for policies that affect ... their communities’, livelihoods.”

In view of the Volunta