Gender Equity and Voluntary Guidelines for Small Scale and Artisanal Fishery Implementation Discussed
By George Harris
Stakeholders at the ongoing three-day commemoration of World Fisheries Day celebration in Mahe, Seychelles yesterday discussed measures for implementing Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Voluntary Guidelines on small scale and artisanal fishery and also the role of women in the artisanal fishery sector.
The African Confederation of Artisanal Fisheries Professional Organizations (CAOPA) and its partners, Federation of Artisanal Fishermen at the Indian Oceans (FPAOI), Fishermen and Boat Owners Association Seychelle (FBOA) and the Professional Fisheries Organizations of the Seychelles (PFS) gathered to have discussions about women rights and their participation in decision making processes within their different fishery communities. Stakeholders also discussed “inclusive” measures for implementing FAO Voluntary Guidelines on small scale and artisanal fishery in Africa.
During his presentation, FAO Regional Senior Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer for Africa Regional Office, Ndiaga Gueye, said that the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on Small Scale and Artisanal Fishery must include all stakeholders effort, particularly, government, the private sector, academia, donors, regional organizations, and NGOs.
He indicated that regional consultation is needed to explain the implementations of the guidelines. Gueye, also disclosed that (FAO) would provide technical support for the implementation of the guidelines base on the needs of sensitization of a particularly artisanal fishery community.
Furthermore, Gueye urged artisanal fishery communities to be patient in getting results of their advocacies while also cautioning that opposing other sectors will be the wrong path chosen by artisanal fishery communities.
“You can’t oppose other sectors, what is important is that you must work in a very smart way that fishermen and mongers voices would be heard,” said Ndiaga Gueye, FAO Regional Senior Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer for Africa Regional Office.
Also, CAOPA’s Treasurer, Madam Kadiatou Bangoura, while making a presentation on the role of women in artisanal fishery, said decision making processes, funding for women, processing methodologies and processing equipment are some challenges that women face in Africa’s artisanal fishery communities.
She said that unlike CAOPA which is thriving for gender equity, and also building the capacity of women, most organizations on the continent do not give women a chance to contribute in decision making processes.
Also, Madam Bangoura said that FAO Voluntary Guidelines on small scale and artisanal fisheries is important for women in the artisanal fishery sector because the guidelines focus on gender equity, access to equal opportunities and participation.
CAOPA and its partners began the three-day commemoration of the World Fisheries Day on Sunday November 19 and is expected to end on Tuesday November 21. Also the ongoing celebration in Mahe, Seychelles brought together delegates from around the African Continent.