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Inclusive ecosystems? Women's participation in the aquatic ecosystem of Lake Malawi

Ecosystem services and their role in alleviating poverty are centered on a set of gendered social relations. The understanding of these relations between men and women in aquatic ecosystems can unveil gender-based opportunities and constraints along the ...

Type: Publication

Special events: Celebrating women in science

Today, 11 February, is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which is both a celebration of women and girls in science and a reminder that their participation needs to be strengthened.

Gender equality in the sciences is not just good for individual women, it makes science better and more relevant. This is supported by mounting evidence which shows that gender diversity encourages smarter, more creative teams, paving the way for enhanced knowledge outcomes. This is vital for addressing global challenges such as climate change, food security and water resource management.

In celebration of the powerful role of women in scientific inquiry but cognisant of the barriers that many still face in gaining full and equal access to certain scientific fields, we asked women from across our organization what has enabled them to thrive as a scientist at WorldFish.

  • We present their insightful and sometimes surprising answers in a special Exposure Story here.

  • To highlight our early career research talents who are already making a significant contribution to fisheries and aquaculture knowledge, we launched a new series on our emerging scientists. In the first two instalments, we feature Chikondi Manyungwa-Pasani, a small-scale fisheries researcher in Malawi, and Chin Yee Chan, a Research Fellow based in Malaysia who focuses on fish foresight modeling.

  • Acknowledging that gender inclusion extends beyond our own workforce, our gender strategy calls for research not only by but also for women. Recent examples include a study of gendered ownership of aquaculture resources in Bangladesh and a major new aquaculture training and entrepreneurship project in Zambia that explicitly targets women and female youth.

In the past decade or so, the global community has made a concerted effort to engage women and girls in science. However, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), women continue to be underrepresented, making up less than 30 percent of the world’s researchers.

Moreover, a 2018 study by researchers at the University of Melbourne showed that without further interventions, the gender gap in science will likely persist for generations. The study sought to find out how many women work in different fields of STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine), and when—if ever—women will be equally represented in the workforce.

Mapping the gender gap using data on 36 million authors of more than 10 million articles published over the past 15 years, the study showed that almost every field of STEMM is moving towards a 50:50 gender ratio.

This is clearly encouraging news. On the flip side, the data predicted that, based on current trends, several disciplines are a long way from reaching gender parity, including surgery (52 years), mathematics (60 years) and computer science (280 years).

Given women’s past and ongoing contribution to scientific progress, it is not hard to understand why closing the gender gap is the right thing to do for science and society. By commemorating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are supporting and championing women and girls around the world to ensure their rightful place at the research table.

Gareth Johnstone
Director General

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Monday, February 11, 2019

WorldFish HQ events: SPAITS Project Inception Workshop

Scaling Systems and Partnerships for Accelerating the Adoption of Improved Tilapia Strains by Small-Scale Fish Farmers (SPAITS) Project Inception Workshop

Global demand for seafood continues to rise, driven by population growth, higher incomes, urbanization and increasing preference for seafood protein. As capture fisheries production has reached its limits, the growth of aquaculture is critical for meeting the increasing demand for fish. One of the bottlenecks constraining sustainable aquaculture development is the lack of improved strains of fish.

To date, aquaculture in developing countries is still largely based on unimproved fish strains, which are genetically similar or inferior to wild counterparts. This results in aquaculture with poor growth rate, high mortality and production costs. Genetically improved seeds of fish and other aquatic species are essential for increasing productivity and improving socioeconomic performance of aquaculture production.

As part of the sustainable aquaculture research of the CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH), the BMZ/GIZ funded SPAITS project aims to accelerate the dissemination of improved tilapia and carp strains to smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia, and provide feedback to research on new genetic traits in tilapia that could further benefit smallholders in developing countries.

Dr Nhoung Tran, WorldFish research leads specialize in fish supply and demand modeling and climate change with his research teams will be coordinating the two-days workshop from 14th to 15th February 2019.The goal of workshops is to provide attendees with a focused and in-depth platform to develop project workplans, including project sites, timelines, deliverables and activities of each of the four outputs of the SPAITS project, refine the proposed methodologies and develop a common understanding of the project, and its different activities, expected outcomes, and the individual roles and responsibilities in achieving the project’s deliverables.

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WorldFish Headquarters
Thursday, February 14, 2019 to Friday, February 15, 2019
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Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART)

In the Indian state of Assam, capture fisheries and aquaculture provide livelihoods for thousands of rural households, who are directly or indirectly involved in the production and marketing of fish.  While the current average productivity in ponds is ...

Type: Project

Gendered ownership of aquaculture resources: Insights from two villages in Bangladesh

Ownership rights are crucial for increasing women’s decision-making power and empowerment outcomes, which in turn will impact household efficiency in agricultural productivity. In Bangladesh, however, there remains a large gendered gap in asset ownership. ...

Type: Publication

Global events: International Women's Day

Theme: Think equal, build smart, innovate for change

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

The achievement of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires transformative shifts, integrated approaches and new solutions, particularly when it comes to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

The 2019 theme Think equal, build smart, innovate for change focuses on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

Innovation and technology provide unprecedented opportunities, yet trends indicate a growing gender digital divide and women are under-represented in the field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design. It prevents them from developing and influencing gender-responsive innovations to achieve transformative gains for society. From mobile banking to artificial intelligence and the internet of things, it is vital that women’s ideas and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our future societies.


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Friday, March 8, 2019
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Global conference: Seeds of Change

Theme: Gender Equality Through Agricultural Research for Development

An interdisciplinary conference for researchers and practitioners in all fields of agriculture including food/commodity/cash crops, subsistence/semi-subsistence sectors, supply chains, forestry, fisheries, and water management.

WorldFish Gender Research Leader Dr. Cynthia McDougall, participating as the conference Theme Leader for "Gender Integration in Agri-Food Systems Research for Development" theme focusses on what effective gender integration means: it will surface key challenges as well as state-of-the-art learning regarding strategies, methods, and tools for integrating gender in agri-food systems research.

The conference is jointly funded by Australia­­­n Centre for Agricultural Research, CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research and University of Canberra.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2019 to Thursday, April 4, 2019
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Empowering Women Fish Retailers (EWFIRE)

Since the 1980s, aquaculture production in Egypt has grown rapidly, adding substantially to the supply of affordable fish to domestic markets. As a result, aquaculture markets have become a strategic food sector that contributes to nutrition security and ...

Type: Project

Gender-differentiated needs and preferences of farmers for Rohu fish in Bangladesh and India

Presentation by Mamta Mehar, Mekkawy Wagdy, Cynthia McDougall and John Benzie at 7th Global Conference on Gender in Aquaculture & Fisheries (GAF7) held in Bangkok, Thailand on 18th October 2018 ...

Type: Online Presentation

Global events: International Day of Rural Women 2018

Today, people around the world are celebrating the International Day of Rural Women, which recognizes the invaluable contribution of rural women to the sustainability, food security and wellbeing of rural communities. To mark the day, we created and invite you to watch our video tribute to rural women in fisheries and aquaculture.

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Monday, October 15, 2018