The FAO held a workshop on the 7th of October in Vigo on “Shaping an international network for women in the seafood industry”. The event comes at a time when a growing number of voices, at international, national and local level, are calling for better recognition and representation of women in decision-making processes, and FARNET was there.
During this meeting, FLAGs, women entrepreneurs and women’s organisations explored various ideas on the role of women in the seafood industry, showing successful examples of how to overcome barriers and foster greater entrepreneurship among women in the seafood sector. Although women account for 12% of the workforce in the European fisheries and aquaculture sector, they remain largely invisible, and their role is not always acknowledged. CLLD projects such as “women entrepreneurs in Andalusia’s fisheries areas” or the tanning fish skin project of the Fisherwomen’s branch of the Ostrobothnian Fisheries Association provide tangible examples of how this situation could be improved. The French government has also stressed the relevance of the local development approach to the promotion of gender equality by launching a publication which highlights the diverse roles of women in the fisheries sector, including through several Axis 4 projects.
With EMFF and CLLD, women are increasingly encouraged and supported to access funding in order to increase their visibility, promote equal opportunities within the sector, start smart businesses and add value to local fisheries products.