Enhancing Small-Scale Fishing Communities Through the Advancement of Women’s Participation in the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework [graduate project].
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Globally, fisheries are in a precarious position. Climate change, over-fishing and pollution threaten marine eco-systems and the communities that rely on them. As so often is the case, these pressures are experienced disproportionately by lower-income nations (LIN) and in the marine context, small-scale fisheries (SSF) in particular. Despite SSF being the dominate scale of fishing the world over they remain undervalued and inadequately managed. However, there is strong evidence that, if better understood and properly managed, they could be a more viable fishing sector than large-scale fisheries and be a unique starting point for implementing strategies addressing poverty alleviation, sustainable livelihoods and other issues facing LIN. In order to better manage SSF in the future, it will require a more holistic and participatory approach, and there may be no better place to start than by examining the substantial yet underappreciated roles of women in SSF. In many ways, the contribution of women in SSF in LIN far surpasses that of men and yet they remain marginalized not only in their roles and in decision making but even within fisheries research. This paper presents some of the evidence supporting SSF as a viable sector in LIN and more importantly the often hidden contributions of women working in these SSF. This paper present research conducted on the gender dimension in tuna fisheries in the Maldives. And finally, through the sustainable livelihoods approach and a gender focused research framework, this paper will explore strategies for enhancing conditions and standings of women working in SSF in LIN.