Examining fisheries access and upward mobility through a gendered lens

Authors: Marysia Szymkowiak*, , Melissa Rhodes-Reese, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
Topics: Gender, Marine and Coastal Resources
Keywords: fisheries, access, women, upward mobility
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 30
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study explores how the social construct of gender manifests itself in fisheries by exploring the literature on women’s fisheries participation around the world and presenting a case study of women in Alaska's fisheries. The study analyzes the geographic coverage and methodologies that have been used to examine this participation and presents a methodological approach that can extend the scope of research and comprehensively examine women’s participation across its multifaceted dimensions. This approach is then applied in the context of Alaska fisheries, examining gendered participation in the harvesting sector and women's multifaceted indirect contributions to sustaining fishing fleets and communities. Women's participation in Alaska fisheries parallels trends elsewhere, with access mediated by cultural norms, stereotypes, and taboos; a perceived increase in women's participation is only really evident in crew license data, with little indication of a rise of women in the more vested and empowered category of permit holders. Throughout the world, women's variegated roles within families, as child care providers, facilitators, and community network builders, affects the amount of time they are afforded in direct harvesting engagement. As fisheries management regimes especially in developed countries shift increasingly towards programs wherein access and harvesting privileges are based on historical participation, women's flexibility within their families is impeding their capacity to be able to participate in fisheries in the long-term.

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