Women in fisheries activities of the Asian Fisheries Society - have they been able to make an impact?

The initiative of the Partnership for Development in Kampuchea (PADEK), in organizing a National Symposium on Women in Fisheries in Cambodia in 1994, received overwhelming support from the Government of Cambodia. This resulted in the organization of a regional seminar on the same issue involving all the countries in the Mekong Basin in 1996. The involvement of the Asian Fisheries Society (AFS) helped in scaling up the activities to the Asian level, leading to the organization of the Women in Asian Fisheries Symposium in 1998, which coincided with the 5th Asian Fisheries Forum in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The AFS also joined hands with PADEK in organizing the triennial photographic competition. A number of these activities have stimulated both national and regional interests, motivating various groups to organize discussions /meetings on the increasing role of women in the fisheries sector. Following the recommendations from these events, efforts are underway with the implementation of new approaches and better strategies, which will bring forth gender equity in a wide array of developmental activities. The publication of the proceedings of the meetings and the photographic competitions have contributed to increased awareness and changes in attitude. Major changes at the policy level, however, have yet to be seen. While there is a need to intensify awareness in this area, more concrete steps are needed to translate awareness into actions. This paper summarizes the impacts observed in the different gender-related activities. It will put forward suggestions on ways to strengthen activities in this area.


Nandeesha, M.C., Tech, E. (2002)
Global Symposium on Women in Fisheries