Despite their role in the processing and selling of fish, as well as their significant contribution to fishing itself, women are rarely involved in decision making around fisheries management. In order to realise the potential of small-scale fisheries and manage them more sustainably, it is crucial to recognise women’s role, and subsequently carve out and uphold leadership opportunities for them.
The FisherWomen Leadership Programme (FWLP) is a new initiative that aims to increase the participation of women in the management of coastal resources at a community level.
Through peer mentoring, led by female community leaders who act as ambassadors, fisherwomen will be inspired and supported to develop their skills and confidence to participate in community-led fisheries management, as well as in wider regional and national networks, such as the MIHARI Network.
This joint initiative has been launched by the MIHARI Network, a national network of Madagascar’s locally managed marine areas (LMMAs), and the PHE Madagascar Network, a network of conservation and health organisations that develop collaborative initiatives to improve the health of both people and the environment. Blue Ventures is proud to be an active partner of both the MIHARI Network and PHE Madagascar Network.
Clarisse Marie Rahanitranirina, a member of MIHARI northwest regional Board and a FisherWomen Leadership Programme Ambassador from Ambanja District, Madagascar, said, “At the FisherWomen Leadership Programme, together we discuss and think how women can better participate in the local management of marine and coastal resources. To put into practice what I have learned here, once I am back in my village I will bring together members of my community to share information about the launch of the programme. The important thing is that women also have their place in the future of marine and coastal resources.”
Nantenaina Andriamalala, Madagascar PHE Network Coordinator said, “One of the aims of our holistic health-environment approach is to promote gender equality in the management of natural resources, by enabling women living in coastal villages to be in good health and to take part in marine conservation and management activities. Like our network, the FisherWomen Leadership Programme takes an integrated approach to conservation. We have co-designed the programme to work with women leaders and ambassadors to make visible changes for women in fishing villages in Madagascar.”
The programme was launched with a two day workshop which was themed around gender in natural resource management, the fisheries landscape in Madagascar and methods for improving community communication.