Day II – June 3: Gender & Dignity

Gender & Dignity   

Youth disengagement and gender inequality undermine the social resiliency and economic viability of the SSF sector. Despite the critical role played by female fishers along the entire value chain, their contributions have historically been unrecognized, undervalued and overlooked, and their work underpaid because of gendered socio-cultural norms. With the turning of the tide towards social equity and inclusion, there is a greater emphasis on gender mainstreaming and amplifying the voices of women and youth through participatory approaches and empowerment. Sessions under this theme will showcase initiatives that address gender inequalities and youth disengagement in fisheries, through interviews, presentations, videos, photovoice and transmedia workshop and storytelling, and explore a diversity of topics that relates to gender equity, human rights, female fishers’ contribution, and youth engagement.

How to join a session?    

All sessions can be accessed by clicking on the Zoom link below. No registration required.
1) Check the start time of the session you are interested in. All sessions are shown in UTC.
2) Calculate your local time ( 
3) Click on the Zoom link a minute or two before the session is set to start. 

Watching the session live via YouTube    

Beside joining the sessions via Zoom, you can also watch them live on YouTube. To do so, select the YouTube button below, next to the specific sessions you are interested in.
Session 1 @ 8:00 UTC

Human rights, livelihood and dignity of small-scale fishers

This event will showcase how the livelihood and dignity of small-scale fishers is a human rights concern, through case stories from several countries. We will discuss how human rights standards and mechanisms can be used in practice to address livelihood issues in fishing communities, and improve their dignity and standard of living. We will identify actions needed, and explore how the 2030 Agenda can serve as leverage for human rights-based governance of the small-scale fisheries sector.

Language: English

Format: Live presentation & discussion

Duration: 90 minutes

Additional information about the session can be found here.

Session 2 @ 10:00 UTC

Investing in young fishers

This video titled ‘Investing in Young Fishers’ highlights a reality experienced by the fishing sector in various countries – the ageing fisher population. We take a look at the stories of Maltese fishers and fish hawkers of different ages and genders with a focus on their opinions and views on the ageing fisher population and their suggestions on how the participation of young fishers can be improved. It also features comments from a Fisheries Department officer, a Maltese Fisheries advisor, and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights where they explain the ministry’s efforts in tackling this issue.

Format: Pre-recorded video

Language: English

Duration: 30 minutes

Session 3 @ 11:00 UTC

African food systems, gender dynamics and SSF perspectives

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Small-scale fisheries (SSF) forms an essential part of the African food system as they contribute to high quality protein and micronutrients that is often consumed with tomatoes to increase the nutritional value for many poor and vulnerable populations. Yet, there are many interlocking factors that prevent SSF to play a more significant role in feeding the poor and vulnerable – such as, the legislation supporting industrial fisheries and large-scale aquaculture, proclamation of MPAs in SSF fishing grounds, overfishing, Marine Spatial Planning of blue economy and now the Covid-19 pandemic. We invited three civil society organizations (NETRIGHT -Ghana, EMEDO- Tanzania, and Masifundise – South Africa) who formed part of an IDRC funded research on African Food Systems during Covid 19 to give their perspectives on how the Covid 19 regulations impacted on the fish flow, prices of fish, and gendered dynamics in SSF. In this session we will unpack the interlocking factors influencing the flow of fish, the supply chain, the demand, the volumes, and the prices pre-Covid 19.

Chair and discussant: Moenieba Isaacs, University of Western Cape


  • Patricia Patricia Blankson Akakpo, Network for Women’s Rights NETRIGHT, Ghana
  • Maia Nagel, Masifundise Development Trust, South Africa
  • Editrudith Lukanga, Environmental Management and Economic Development Organization (EMEDO), Tanzania

Language: English

Format: Live presentation & discussion

Duration: 60 minutes

Session 4 @ 12:30 UTC

Girls who fish: gender equity, empowerment, and the importance of laws

Women are actively involved, to a varying degree, in various aspects of the fish chain and play key roles in the communities, contributing to the safety net and other fabrics of the society. Yet, women suffer numerous challenges in fisheries. In addition to working double-shifts (in and outside their homes), women are usually not well integrated in the system, and some face significant barriers to participate in fishing and decision-making. Considerable efforts, behaviour change, and institutional reform are required to enhance women’s participation in fisheries. It is also fundamental to understand how the existing legal and policy framework of a country secure women’s rights and provide for their protection. The session showcases an example of innovation through the ‘Girls who fish’ program, pioneered by Fishing for Success, a community-based organization based in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and the sister program in Japan. A rapid appraisal framework to identify key small-scale fisheries issues in laws and policies, with an emphasis on gender, will also be presented, including the related findings concerning the assessed 25 countries.

Moderator: Ratana Chuenpagdee, TBTI Global


  • Kimberly Orren, Fishing for Success, Canada
  • Yinji Li, Tokai University/TBTI Japan
  • Julia Nakamura, University of Strathclyde Law School, UK

Format: Video and panel presentation & discussion

Language: English

Duration: 60 minutes

Organized by: TBTI Global
Session 5 @ 14:00 UTC

Unpacking the SSF Guidelines: Mainstreaming gender for SSF development strategies

In 2014, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) endorsed the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) and outlined a series of core objectives to protect and enhance the impact of small-scale fisheries around the world. The SSF Guidelines call for equal participation of women and men in organizations and in decision-making processes. The webinar aims to promote the vital role of women in small-scale fisheries, equal rights and opportunities acknowledging the importance of gender equality and equity as fundamental to any development. Invited guests and speakers from different parts of the globe will share their experiences while highlighting the role of women in Small-Scale Fisheries Sustainability.

Language: English

Format: Webinar

Duration: 90 minutes

Session 6 @ 16:00 UTC

Fishing communities behind the lens: Photovoice as a participatory research approach

Shannon presents a photovoice effort with two fishing communities in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Two goals for this work were: 1) to understand what aspects of the participants’ lives were most important to them; and 2) to understand how they conceived of the past, present, and future. Emi introduces participatory transmedia workshops with youth from SSF communities in India, Vietnam, and Peru. Objectives were for rural students to explore their ancient oceans and ancestral villages as researchers and utilize impact storytelling techniques, tools, and community-based research approaches to illustrate SSF’s challenges and contributions to ocean-human health and sustainable futures.

Session organizers: Shannon Switzer Swanson & Emi Koch

Format: Live presentations

Language: English

Duration: 60 minutes

Session 7 @ 17:30 UTC

Responsible fisheries, gender equality and youth participation in Venezuela

A general description and characterization of artisanal fisheries in the northeastern part of Venezuela is presented. The main aspect that stands out is the performance of women in this activity, going from being housewives to be an integral part of the productive circuit, incorporating themselves as processors, marketers and also as managers of the family productive unit by participating more frequently with the youth in the fishing task considered a traditionally male labour. As a cultural manifestation, two musical genres are identified: the “joropo cumanés” and the “galerón”.

Format: Prerecorded presentation that combines interviews and videos

Language: Spanish with English subtitles

Duration: 30 minutes

Organized by: Bioprojects, Association of Fishers of the Cruz Salmerón Acosta Municipality, Councils of Fishers and Fish Farmers (CONPPA) from Santa Fé and Carenero communities