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© Natalija Gormalova/Climate Visuals Countdown
© Natalija Gormalova/Climate Visuals Countdown

Expanding evidence on women’s contribution to seafood production in Africa

Expanding evidence on women’s contribution to seafood production in Africa 

• Newly released “factsheets” provide standardised information regarding women’s contribution to the seafood sector in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
• These publications are part of a growing open access platform of knowledge, supported by ORRAA and co-developed with national experts. 
• Further factsheets will be developed for countries in the Caribbean, Africa, Oceania and Southeast Asia over the next two years.

Expanding evidence on women’s crucial contribution to seafood production in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa is being released in a standardised format for the first time.  

The factsheets have been developed by ORRAA together with the Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) and the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), providing key insights relevant for developing policies that strive to achieve an equitable, sustainable and just future for seafood production. 

Women are integral actors in coastal fisheries and seafood production. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, women make up about 40% of workers directly engaged in small scale fisheries1. However, the contributions women provide to the sector are often undervalued and overlooked.  

Improved gender equity in the seafood sector can increase sustainable practices and strengthen sustainable coastal blue economies. To do this, compiling knowledge and available data on gender disparities is an important step to facilitating pathways towards women’s increased representation and engagement in fisheries governance.  

Within the framework of the ORRAA supported project Gender Dynamics of Ocean Risk and Resilience in the Global South – SRC, Dr. Wabnitz of the Standford Center for Ocean Solutions and the University of British Columbia, Dr. Harper of the University of Victoria and the Wildlife Conservation Society and a team of researchers have developed eight national “factsheets” that cover gender dynamics in seafood production. Each factsheet highlights women’s economic contribution to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), employment, current gender disparities, and enabling policies.  

ORRAA Executive Director, Karen Sack, said, “Women play an incredibly valuable role in the coastal fisheries value-chain, yet it is seldom acknowledged by policy-makers.  Recognising and accounting for this value is critical if we are to make the right investments that support sustainable and resilient coastal communities. These fact sheets provide the critical knowledge and local context to do just that.” 

The goal of the fact sheets is to increase general knowledge, data, and recognition regarding women’s contribution to the seafood sector. According to lead author, Dr. Wabnitz, “Women make critical contributions across fisheries value chains, yet their role in the development of the sector is often minimized. We hope these factsheets, whose development benefited from the remarkable and incredibly rich contributions of a wide diversity of collaborators, can help inform opportunities to strengthen gender equity and women’s empowerment in the sector and beyond.” 

Factsheets for the following countries have been published: 

These eight factsheets were financially supported by the United Kingdom’s Blue Planet Fund. With continued support from ORRAA, the number of fact sheets is expected to grow. During the next two years, this project will collect data and produce fact sheets from countries in the Caribbean, Africa, Oceania, and Southeast Asia. 

By supporting this work, ORRAA is enabling the creation of a whole new body of information that will generate better outcomes for women and girls, for communities and for the world,” said Albert Norström, Head of Knowledge and Evidence at the Global Resilience Partnership (GRP), ORRAA’s lead science partner and one of the project leads.

Other documents regarding ocean risk and gender dynamics on fisheries are available on the Ocean Risk Reports website.  


Gender Dynamics of Ocean Risk and Resilience in the Global South – SRC  

ORRAA has commissioned ground-breaking research to analyse the gender dynamics of ocean risk, highlight the contribution of women to a sustainable blue economy, strengthen pathways to increase women’s engagement, and help foster fair and inclusive livelihood opportunities. The project is made possible by the Stockholm Resilience Center, Global Resilience Partnership, Charles Telfair Centre, the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, and the University of British Columbia. This project is financially supported by the United Kingdom’s Blue Planet Fund and the Government of Canada.  

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