Although West African fisheries have been the subject of considerable study, little attention has paid to the role of gender in the development process and, more specifically, the work done by women in the overall management of fisheries. Lack of attention to the gender dimension of fisheries management can result in policy interventions missing their target of creating sustainable livelihoods at the community level. There is little doubt that fishing-dependent communities have a vital role to play in the overall development process of many coastal West African States, but without a complete understanding of the complexity of gender roles, the goal of sustainable livelihoods is unlikely to be achieved. In a bid to improve knowledge about gender roles in fishing communities, and to provide policy makers with some guidance as to where interventions might be most useful, a workshop was held in Cotonou, Benin (West Africa) in December 2003. This paper provides a brief introduction to the theory on gender and fisheriesdevelopment and then goes on to report the findings of the workshop. The most significant conclusion is that policy interventions which help strengthen institutional capacity in coastal artisanal communities would have the greatest over all impact. A move toward collecting gender and fisheries disaggregated data would also help expand existing knowledge about what are often marginal and isolated economic sectors.
|Pages (from-to)||451 - 459|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|