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Jun 12, 2018

Making Fishing Industry Gender Equitable

June is fisherfolk month and a number of activities are being held across the country to engage fishers on the state of the industry. Today, the Second Annual Women in Fisheries Forum was held in Belize City, under the theme “Working Towards Zero Hunger with Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries.”  The purpose of the forum is to critically look at the role women play in the industry with special attention to gender equity.

 

Beverly Wade

Beverly Wade, Administrator, Fisheries Department

“It is basically to look at the role women play in fisheries. They play an important part in the entire value chain for the fisheries sector. And it is to further look into their roles, look at the circumstances surround their roles, how do we ensure that we have in the right policies, the right strategies, the right systems in place to make their roles more effective at the end of the day. And how do we ensure that we have the right support systems and programs in place to allow them to continue to have a role in fisheries; to ensure that we have greater gender equality in fisheries. In Belize, we often look at fishing as a male dominated activity, even though we do have fisherfolk  women who are directly involved in the taking out of fish from the sea, women play a greater role in the fisheries sector because when that fish comes in that is where women start to play various roles along that  entire value chain.”

 

Ralna Lewis

Ralna Lewis, Assistant Country Director, WCS

“Last year’s event resulted in the creation of a gender action plan and so what we are doing this year is looking at how best to mainstream gender in Belize’s small scale fisheries sector. There are specific sector that we are looking at such as social development, decent work, as well as disaster-risk management, information and research. As is, we have identified the areas for women to become involved in the fisheries sector and when we say that, we like to say that we are not only looking at the activity of fishing.”

 

The event was organized by the Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project, MCCAP of the Fisheries Department; and the Wildlife Conservation Society, WCS.

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