The Deep Gender Divide in Fisheries across the Coast of Kenya

Coastal Women in Fisheries
Coastal Women in Fisheries

Event Timeslots (1)

  • Day 3: Dec 16 (UTC+8)

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    This session will highlight the lack of women’s inclusion in fisheries governance and throughout the fisheries value chain and supply chain on the Kenyan Coast.

Speakers:
Anastacia Cheruiyot (Richana)
Mercy Mghanga (CWIFE)
Dorcas Malogho (IOWB)

According to a report by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations on the role of women in the fishery value chain (De Silva, 2011), women in many fishing communities play an important role in fish handling, grading, distribution and trade within traditional small-scale fisheries. This role, however, is not well recognised, and appears invisible in many communities. This is because the role of women is mainly viewed to be that of household care, reproductive and childcare activities, meal preparation and elderly care. In addition, their activities within the fisheries value chain tend to take few hours in a day and occur within close vicinity to their homes. For women to be recognised there should be investment in appropriate infrastructure, organisational structures, and appropriate capacity development of the post-harvest subsector.

Women on the coast of Kenya are more involved with post-harvest fish processing at home and local trade of fried fish. This fish frying preservation method accounts for 68% of the traditional value-added fish products in the region. It is, therefore, an important source of livelihood for the women processor/traders and a major contributor to food security in the coastal region of Kenya. The women, commonly called Mama Karangas, have poor bargaining power, poor access to fisheries governance, and no access to socio-economic resources (Matsue et al., 2014), yet have a key role to play in the fisheries value chain.

This session will highlight the lack of women’s inclusion in fisheries governance and throughout the fisheries value chain and supply chain on the Kenyan Coast.

Swahili interpretation will be available.

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