Thursday 15 October, 2020: WorldFish celebrated the International Day of Rural Women in Western Province by bringing together women’s leaders to discuss their role in fisheries.
While rural women catch 50% of all fish eaten in households in Solomon Islands, they are the minority of leaders in community, provincial and national organisations responsible for fisheries management and development. In community-based fisheries management, 68% of the local fisheries committees are dominated by men.
At Gizo, representatives of women vendors, community based fisheries management committees, the Australian High Commission, provincial government and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs came together to discuss the current situation and their vision for women in fisheries. Panel discussants also shared difficulties and changes caused by the COVID19 situation in 2020, and ways forward for women in fisheries.
A short film and a factsheet viewable on https://www.worldfishcenter.org?country-pages/solomon-islands was also prepared to help profile the role women play in fisheries and the need for more inclusion of women in decision-making.
Activities were conducted as part of the Enhancing Livelihoods Project funded by SwedBio and the Pathways for change in CBRM project funded by the Australian Government through ACIAR.
Lisi Wong, Womens Division, Western Province, said:
“IDRW Rural women have a huge contribution to our society, communities and families and this day celebrates and reinforces achievements of rural women. It’s good to see that rural women and other sectors too like fisheries and WorldFish recognizes this day, agricultural sector, recognizes this day, as many women are crucial to these sectors. The Division has a submission to the Executive for gender mainstreaming and women in agriculture, fisheries, economic empowerment is part of this, we have to address gender mainstreaming in every sector.”
Margaret Batalofo, WorldFish, Auki Office said:
“WorldFish and WARA has done research on livelihoods and innovation in West Are Are. We found that while marketing is the major activity, but lack of cash flow was a major challenge, another one is transport, there is no road network and the cost of boats and it makes carrying of goods and then competition of vendors selling the same things at the same time. However, WARA had led to changes in their lives, increased knowledge and power to make decisions about income.”
Vido Nao, Treasurer of Santupaele CBFM Committee and women’s leader said:
“We conserve our reef and fishery. Through our conservation efforts, WorldFish came down and built a Fish Aggregating Device (FAD). The benefits we have taken from the FAD and the conservation benefits are protein and food for children and families. It has contributed to development of us, we need to develop every day and every time, through development we can also provide income to our families and women in fisheries. It exposed us to changes, and before we did not hold leadership and membership roles in our community and now we do.”
-World Fish Media Release
Photo Caption: Group photo with Western Provincial Minister for Fisheries Hon. Alesina Redfern