Promoting gender equity and equality through the small-scale fisheries guidelines: Experiences from multiple case studies

Gender equity and equality is the fourth guiding principle of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF Guidelines), and sits within its wider human rights framework. The SSF Guidelines contain acknowledgement of the roles of women in the small-scale fisheries value chain, the need for gender equity and equality in access to human well-being resources, and the need for equal gender participation in fisheries governance. While the inclusion of gender in the SSF Guidelines is unprecedented and encouraging, effective implementation is the critical next step. Part of the implementation process will include the creation of culturally and regionally-specific information that allows local agencies to recognize and prioritize gender needs. To provide an example of the diverse and interacting issues related to the implementation of the gender equity and equality principle, we use case studies and expertise from seven countries and regions. We examine the context-specific issues that should be considered in the implementation process and focus on the many barriers to gender equity and equality in small-scale fisheries. We conclude by outlining the many gender approaches that could be used to implement the SSF Guidelines, and suggest a gender transformative approach. Such an approach focuses on illuminating root causes of gender injustice and inequality, and requires on-going examination of power relationships as well as capacity development for women and marginalized groups.


Kleiber, D., Frangoudes, K., Snyder, H.T., Choudhury, A., Cole, S.M., Soejima, K., Pita, C., Santos, A., McDougall, C., Petrics, H., Porter, M. (2017)
In: Jentoft, S. et al. (eds.) The Small-scale fisheries guidelines: Global implementation. Springer. pp. 737-759