Women in Fisheries Network-Fiji’s (WiFN- Fiji) four years of hard work and stakeholder collaboration to support gender mainstreaming in fisheries paid off with the launch of their National Stocktake of the Institutional and Enabling Mechanisms that Support Gender in Fisheries in Fiji report, an institutional mapping of Fiji’s fisheries sector on 4th December, 2018.
Launched by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Honourable Mereseini Vuniwaqa, at the second Women in Fisheries Forum in Suva, the report findings underscore the importance of stakeholder collaboration in supporting gender mainstreaming in the fisheries sector to advance women’s participation and economic empowerment. “It is important to understand the gender dimensions of fisheries as women make enormous contributions to fisheries and aquaculture supply chains that are almost unrecognized; and for anyone that is invisible, their interests, their needs, their opportunities are not addressed,” said Minister Vuniwaqa.
Minister Vuniwaqa added, “We can no longer afford to let our women fishers remain invisible and I am extremely happy that organisations like the Women in Fisheries NetworkFiji are taking great strides in making the women fishers visible in our Women in Fisheries Network-Fiji launches National Stock take of the Institutional and Enabling Mechanisms that support Gender in Fisheries in Fiji report Dr. Milika Sorby, former Chair of Women in Fisheries Network Fiji and Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, proudly display the research report launched in Suva.
According to WiFN-Fiji Executive Board member, Cherie Morris, they intend to work with government on collecting baseline data on women and men involved in fisheries “ and determine what gaps are there are so that WIFN Fiji can address these in terms of provision of assets and services especially for women.
“The Women in Fisheries Network- Fiji is delighted to have the opportunity to work together with our key development partners including the Ministry of Women to strengthen awareness on gender mainstreaming issues along the value chain particularly with providing support to women’s organizations and groups in the fisheries sector,” said Ms Morris.
With the theme Rethinking Women in Fisheries Network-Fiji, the forum was attended by representatives from government, non-government organisations, civil society agencies, academic institutions and community women and men fishers. The Fiji Women’s Fund is proud to support WiFN-Fiji with their project to create awareness and build knowledge about the situation of women in fisheries in the Rewa and Tailevu provinces. WiFN-Fiji facilitates networks and partnerships to enable opportunities for women to be informed about all aspects of sustainable fisheries in Fiji, and increase the meaningful participation of fisher-women in decision-making and management at all levels of the fisheries industry. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, with participants at the 2019 Women in Fisheries