In Ghana, fishing is a highly gender-segregated occupation with fishermen catching and landing the fresh fish, and women taking responsibility for processing and marketing. The role of women is significant because they add value to fresh fish through processing, while distributing and preserving fish to ensure its availability long after the peak season and allowing it to reach consumers far from the landing beach. Policymakers, however, often fail to take these roles into account during the policy-making process.
Despite the dominant role of women in financing fishing expeditions and in the post-harvest sector (processing, marketing and sale of the catch), their contributions to the fisheries sector are often overlooked or minimized. They are often left out of technical and capacity-building initiatives, community consultations and fisheries management decision-making processes because most women still constitute the majority of the marginalized population within the sector. The most marginalized groups in Ghana’s artisanal fisheries sector are those that do not own fisheries-related inputs, such as boats, engines, nets and processing equipment. Contributing to their marginalization is that many are temporary or long-term migrants without access to secure land tenure. Many men and women also lack access to savings and micro credit. This reduces their opportunities to move into other livelihoods during lean fishing periods and may contribute, indirectly, to the use of unsustainable fishing methods. Read more