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Issue No.51
  • :0973-1156
  • :April
  • :2016

Another International Women’s Day (March 8) has gone by, with significant achievements for women in the fisheries across the world. However, while we take stock of, and celebrate the achievements, we should also reflect on the long road of struggle ahead—a struggle for the rights of small-scale fisheries; for the rights of women engaged in fishing, fish trade and fish-work.

Women have always been the backbone of the small-scale fisheries sector across the world. However the contribution of women, both in economic and social terms, have been constantly undervalued.


Counting on Women

At the intersection of gender, fisheries, and economics are systemic anomalies that mask the cost of fish production by discounting or underestimating women’s labour

By Sarah Harper (, PhD candidate, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, the University of British Columbia, and Danika Kleiber (, Postdoctoral Fellow, Too Big To Ignore, Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

Over 250 million people are involved in global marine fisheries. This estimate includes women and men, but it is difficult to determine contributions by gender because the fisheries sector, like many other natural resource sectors, lacks comprehensive sex-disaggregated data. While some, such as the World Bank, suggest that women account for nearly half of the global fisheries workforce, this may be an underestimate because many countries continue to overlook the labour contributions by women in fisheries. This is partly due to the many informal activities that women are involved in that contr

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