Network of Women in Marine Science

Fighting the tides: A review of gender and fisheries in Tanzania

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      World wide, women’s contribution to the fisheries sector has long been poorly documented and undervalued. Past policy and governance programs were largely centred around the notion that men participate in the capture fisheries while women contribute to processing and marketing spheres. In reality, women’s roles are diverse and dynamic, they vary regionally, economically, and culturally and span the entire fisheries value chain. Gendered fisheries research is becoming increasingly common as academics and policy makers continue to acknowledge gender disparities present throughout the fisheries value chain and their implications to the livelihoods of those involved. Tanzania boasts many productive aquatic ecosystems, yet the benefits from the fisheries sector, par- ticularly small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, are not shared equally between genders. By reviewing available literature regarding fisheries and gender in Tanzania, this study identifies current challenges faced by Tanzanian women in the fisheries sector based on four different categories- cultural barriers, economic barriers, access to fisheries resources, and policy. With reformed gender-aware policies such as the National Fisheries Policy of 2015 for mainland Tanzania and the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries, it is critical to understand the current barriers Tanzanian female fishers face in order for effective implementation of these policies.

      Publication by: Kirsten Bradford and Robert Eliakim Katikiro

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