Fishing communities are facing a slew of problems including declining fish stocks, climate change and associated sea level rise. The substantial contributions made by women to fisheries, and the multiple roles they play in the sector, have gained increasing recognition in recent years. Although they may not always be recognised as such, women are just as involved in small-scale fisheries as men are. They may fish from boats or on foot; they process the catch once it has been landed, they act as traders, buying and selling seafood products. The involvement of women in these roles varies from country to country but one thing is for sure: women play key roles in fisheries around the world, and to ignore those roles is to see only half the picture; to underestimate the problems we have to address, but also to underestimate our capacity to tackle those issues.
To address these challenges as comprehensively as we can, we need all hands on deck. In order to avail of the widest possible pool of skills, perspectives, ideas and resources, we must include women. In protecting our oceans and support the communities reliant on them, women are an essential part of the solution.
This series profiles some of the many inspirational women working on fisheries management and marine conservation in Indonesia. Throughout the series, Blue Ventures hopes to highlight the essential work being carried out by our partner organisations in Indonesia, and especially to place the women leading and working within these organisations in the spotlight. The publication of the first article in the series has been timed to coincide with International Women’s Day. These are women breaking down gender stereotypes, bringing fresh perspectives and acting as role models for future generations.