“Women’s roles in fisheries and fishing communities must be recognised, documented and heard to address food security, eradicate hunger and poverty, support economic growth, and build resilient nations”
– Lavenia Naivalu, Fiji’s LMMA Network International representative at the UN Ocean Conference.
A round table about Leveraging Human Rights and Gender Equity to Achieve SDG 14 was convened on day five of the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
Our LMMA Network International representative, Lavenia Naivalu, the Nacula District Representative from Yasawa Islands in Fiji, was an invited speaker to share her insights about empowering women fishers in Fiji.
In her district of Nacula, women fishers play important role in fisheries sector, contribute to food security, eradicate hunger and poverty, support economic growth, and build resilient nations. Everyday, weather permitting, women fishers catch fish and collect shellfish to feed their families and sell catches to earn money to pay for their children’s education and medicines, etc. They fish on reefs, in mangrove swamps, mudflats, seagrass beds, and they also cook and sell their husband’s catch.
Despite the many roles women fishers play, their contributions are under-recognised, undocumented, and their voices silenced by other voices. Women struggle to be included in decision-making processes, which affects their ability to fish and to feed their family and their communities.