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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.


Women in Fisheries Network

Through need based training and capacity development, the Fiji based Women in Fisheries Network hopes to aid women’s value-added participation in the fisheries sector

By Loata Leweniqila (loata@womeninfisheriesfiji.org), Cordinator, Women in Fisheries Network, Fiji

Despite women playing a crucial role in the marine environment, particularly so in the fisheries economy, their contribution is poorly acknowledged. Women fishers generally dominate inshore fisheries in many countries of the Pacific region and play important roles in both subsistence and commercial fisheries, but have poor access to training and are not strongly engaged in decision making on fisheries development and management. Since 2016, the Women in Fisheries Network (WIFN), Fiji, turned its attention to many of these issues. One important activity has been research into specific areas identified under a study done on the status of fisheries in Fiji.

Although there has been substantive progress in some areas of fisheries, mostly in relation to the marketing and distribution of products, several challenges remain.