Although women are predominant in the pre- and post harvest activities, their labor is not properly valued. The fishing industry is focused on economically important production activities for the market whereas women capture activities e.g. capture of milkfish fry and shell gleaning are usually for household consumption and are not subjected to valuation.
Women are also involved in hauling nets, installing stationary gears and sometimes even joining capture fishing activities. As diverse as the women&rsquos role in fishing activities and their multiple tasks in ensuring the survival of their households, their participation are not counted in the final production outputs because they are often considered only extensions of their male counterparts.
Nevertheless, women continue to be at the forefront of resource management with their nurturing and caring capacity. Lack of representation, non-recognition of participation in co-management bodies and lack of access to economic resources are just some of the constraints that women face as they continue to define their role in coastal resource management.
Engendering the fishing industry will start from an articulated women fisheries agenda towards developing gender responsive policies and programs for women in fisheries. There should be emphasis on women organizing, not just gender mainstreaming, in efforts to realize gender equality in the fishing industry.
The Women in Fisheries Initiatives covers advocacy, networking and capacity building related to women&rsquos rights and welfare, in the context of sustainable fishing industry. It shall provide training to women fishers related to women&rsquos empowerment, women&rsquos participation and entitlements, e.g. participation in governance, organizational management and development, tenurial rights in fisheries, and health, productive, reproductive, and educational rights.This program ensures that women are equally represented in FARMCs, co-management bodies and fishers&rsquo organizations, and that policies and programs of government, NGOs, and POs are gender fair.