Reducing gender discrimination in fisheries and aquaculture


In early 2014, I lead a fact-finding mission identifying entry points to improve women’s working conditions in Mozambique’s fisheries and aquaculture value chains.

With the continuing prevalence of poverty and food insecurity issues, Mozambique changed its development priorities for the fishery sector over the last 30 years, from assisting the industrial sector to focussing on small-scale fisheries and the fishing communities.

This mission was commissioned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), to help the Governments of Mozambique, Norway and Iceland better support the economic participation and benefits of women in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

The mission’s objective was to document the participation of women in two value chains: the small-scale capture fisheries value chain and the aquaculture value chain.

A unique approach

By casting a specific gender lens on a standard value chain analysis, thus incorporating issues of equality, empowerment and decent work, bottlenecks were identified and interventions suggested addressing the issues preventing women in becoming key agents in the production and distribution of quality fish.


Some of the key recommendations included:

– Improving access to funds and credit for women farming fish.

– Improving the organisation of women fish traders in the capture fisheries value chain.

– Creating an inter-institutional “platform” to strengthen knowledge sharing and coordination among the various governmental and non-governmental actors of the value chain.

From selling fish on the street to a stall in the market, good market facilities can transform the business and lives of women fish vendors. Photos: Bodil Maal. 

Full report

Read the full report including all the recommendations.

Looking forward

Through this work, Mozambique’s Ministry of Fisheries showed its commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

In addition to enhancing the conditions of women in fisheries and aquaculture at field level, it is anticipated the proposed interventions will also support the implementation of the Ministry of Fisheries’ new Gender Strategy and strengthen the role and capacities of its Gender focal points at a provincial level.

The interventions recommended require discussion and further development by the Ministry of Fisheries and its decentralized administrations. They have the potential to be implemented as a pilot project funded between the Norway, Iceland and Mozambique governments. To this effect, the design and coordination of the pilot project should be located in one of the country’s provinces for a more rapid implementation of activities.

Get in touch

If you are interested in a further discussion or have a similar work proposal, do get in touch.