Women are integral to both the fisheries and tourism sectors. Yet women’s roles, contributions, priorities and interests tend to be overlooked and undervalued across sectors as well as in policy and management. This report highlights gender roles in two key sectors of the ocean
Gender Dynamics of Ocean Risk and Resilience in SIDS and coastal LDCs
Project Lead: Stockholm Resilience Centre
Support: Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, University of British Columbia, Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Financial Support: Government of Canada
ORRAA has commissioned a series of reports on ocean risk and resilience in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This report highlights gender roles in the ocean economy, describes the gendered dimensions of ocean risks, and summarises efforts across SIDS and LDCs for gender equitable approaches to building resilience to ocean risks.
The ocean, its coastlines and its coastal communities are at the front line of climate change, and are massively impacted by increasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s poor, the majority of whom are women, are disproportionately vulnerable to growing ocean risks and often lack of the capacity to build resilience.
Both fisheries and tourism have been highlighted as pivotal sectors to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Women play important roles across fisheries value chains and throughout the tourism sector. Yet women’s roles, contributions, priorities, and interests tend to be overlooked and undervalued across sectors as well as in policy and management. In addition, because of restrictive social-cultural norms, women are underrepresented in policy and decision-making. Gender discrimination threatens to increase women’s vulnerability to ocean risks.
Through a synthesis of peer-reviewed literature, and numerous case studies from SIDS and LDCs, this report highlights gender roles in two key sectors of the ocean economy (small-scale fisheries and coastal tourism), describes the gendered dimensions of ocean risks, and summarises efforts across SIDS and LDCs to advance gender equitable approaches throughout the blue economy.
Scalability and Next Steps
Advancing gender equality benefits women and girls through improved welfare and agency. These benefits extend beyond the individual to women’s households and communities, helping countries realise their full development potential, especially within the context of a blue economy. To meet this potential, finance, specifically Official Development Assistance (ODA) and climate risk insurance, can play a critical role in supporting gender responsive (transformative) approaches to resilience to ocean risks. Donors should demonstrate their commitment to, and leadership on, gender equality in development and risk resilience projects across the ocean economy by increasing their total and proportional allocations to gender-focused programming.