6th June 2019

This year’s World Oceans Day theme is “Gender and Oceans” and the Women in Fisheries Network – Fiji (WiFN-Fiji) will be observing the event tomorrow, 7th June 2019.

Women have made significant contributions to ocean resource management and there have been many barriers for the recognition and the value of these contributions.

World Oceans Day is an opportunity to highlight the role of women in ocean management, sustainable fisheries livelihoods and family well-being.

“This year’s theme of World Oceans Day provides the opportunity to recognize women’s role in the marine sector. WiFN-Fiji would like to recognize women for their traditional knowledge, skills and practices in ocean resource management and sustainable development,” said WiFN – Fiji Chairperson Cherie Morris.

“Several economic dynamics also call for gender equity and quantification of the contributions of women; the professional existence of women in the Pacific marine economic sector has now become more prominent and dynamics are changing from (in fisheries) women catching and processing fish to women acting as fish traders and managers in urban centres,” Morris added.

“We are also seeing some improvement in participation of women in fisheries trainings and in marine professions, however, more active participation of women in decision making is needed at all levels. The negative impacts of marine conservation and development on women also need to be identified and addressed,’’

WiFN-Fiji together with its partners has provided some capacity building for women in fisheries in Fiji and there are plans to collect gender-disaggregated data to use as a baseline for quantifying women’s participation in the fisheries sector in Fiji.

“Information on gender impacts and participation of women in other aspects of ocean management and in Pacific island countries is limited,” said Morris.

“We anticipate that this gender-disaggregated data will be used for more efficient policies which advance women’s participation in ocean management,”