Globally, women play a significant role in the fisheries sector, carrying out nearly half of fishing activities.
These roles are primarily found in the inshore fisheries, particularly in the subsistence and small scale commercial fisheries sectors.
Within the coastal and reef areas, women fish and glean for seafood for their families (subsistence) and sell any excess. In the offshore fisheries, women’s roles have been in the processing and post-harvest sectors.
In many Pacific islands, women are the major contributors of subsistence food production and play an important role within small-scale fishing communities.
Unfortunately their contributions are often overlooked and considered insignificant.
Their fishing activities are considered unpaid work and unspecialised compared to the traditional roles held by men. This is despite the fact they hold the knowledge, skills, and traditions relevant to the management of their fishing grounds.
As a result, they are excluded from dialogue concerning management of their fisheries. Sadly, they also lack access to training provided to men, such as post-harvest handling, financial literacy, and business management.
We are supporting local communities to ensure greater participation and representation of women in the protection, management, and conservation of coastal habitats.
This is essential for the development of sustainable, alternative pathways to provide security of food production and livelihoods, to effectively co-manage the protection of marine resources, and influence policy for coastal communities.
Traditionally, when there is a meeting in the village, women are not included. They could be found in the kitchen, busy catering for the meeting, but not at the table. However now, WWF is ensuring women are represented in all community consultations.
We support the establishment of microfinance enterprises, such as the women’s microfinance savings clubs in the Solomon Islands, which helps facilitate food security, food preservation workshops, and supporting the training of female seafarers.
Visit the WWF Pacific website to read more about what WWF is doing in the Pacific