Women and SSF

Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries, which were adopted by the FAO earlier this year, recognized, “the vital role of women in small-scale fisheries, equal rights and opportunities should be promoted”. This is a reality that every fishing community knows about.

Women also play a central role in the small-scale fisheries movement at local, regional national and international levels The movement is only as strong as the strength of women’s participation, and the inclusion of their voices in decision-making.

At the same time, in many fishing communities, women face major barriers to full participation in SSF. Among these are gender based violence, economic and social discrimination and exclusion from decision-making and policy processes

One way to address these challenges is to create spaces in which women involved SSF can share their stories, support each others’ struggles and strategies.

For this reason, the SSF Learning Circles Project is initiating a learning circle on Women’s Leadership Development in Small-scale Fisheries.

The Small-Scale Fisheries Learning Circles Project is coordinated by Bay of Fundy Marine Resource Centre (MRC) and is funded by the International Development and Research Centre (IRDC). The project consists of a series of workshops, or ‘learning circles’, using Skype and teleconferencing to bring together small-scale fisher people and those working closely with them in their communities.

The purpose of this learning circle is to provide a way for women in fishing communities to:

  • Share challenges
  • Share ideas and strategies for women’s leadership development
  • Gain access to information
  • Connect to the global struggle
  • Create sustainable change
  • Build their vision
  • Build motivation and trust
  • Build their capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes.
  • Create a competitive advantage by increasing performance, innovation and team work and also ensure that time and resources are used effectively.

This learning circle is just beginning, and we would like to extend an invitation to any of your members to participate, including woman engaged in SSF in various capacities (harvesting, postharvest, community, and house hold), men and women who work with SSF organizer and others who play a support role for the SSF.