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Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries
in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication

Gender equality

Women in small-scale fisheries
Women in the small-scale fisheries sector have diverse capacities, capabilities and levels of power. Women are often engaged in processing and selling fish. In some cases, women own boats and finance fishing operations that employ men and in other cases they conduct their own fishing. But in the majority of cases, women face inequalities in terms of accessing resources, services, employment opportunities, taking part in decision-making, and more.

Striving for gender equality in fisheries means both letting women take their place in all fora, and acknowledging the often invisible work and responsibilities they take on.

Equal participation in policy and practice
The SSF Guidelines call for equal participation of women and men in organizations and in decision-making processes. Policies and legislation must support equality, and both women and men must have access to appropriate technologies and services to carry out their work.

The SSF Guidelines also encourage states to respect international human rights law and to challenge gender-discrimination in laws, policies, customs and practices – not only in fisheries, but in society as a whole.

One of the goals of the SSF Guidelines is to help transform all the institutional arrangements that make up a society, to eventually root out gender inequality.

Gender equity and equality are core objectives and guiding principles of the SSF Guidelines, and gender considerations are frequently addressed throughout.

Chapter 8 of the SSF Guidelines is about gender equality and equity. Gender issues are also mainstreamed throughout the SSF Guidelines.