Fishing Industry: The Fight for Gender Equality

The contribution of women to various processes around the world is undeniable. Although they constitute half of the total workforce in the fishing industry, they are the least represented in decision-making. A small percentage of women hold senior positions in the field under consideration. This problem is typical in the fishing industry and in the whole world, where men have much more privileges. The gender aspect has become more important in the policy and development of practices in the fisheries sector.

Men and women perform different and often complementary functions, largely depending on the social, cultural, and economic conditions in which they live. The relationship between men and women in the fishing sector varies significantly and is based on economic status, authority, and access to resources. Women rarely participate in high-seas fishing or long-distance commercial fishing in most regions. Male teams work on ocean vessels for long-distance fishing on the high seas because of the need to perform heavy work and women’s household duties and social norms.

The distribution of labor and its accessibility for women is connected with the production-sales chain, where a single role is important for both sexes. According to statistics, about 45 million workers are employed in the primary fishing sector, and 135 million workers work in the second branch (Ariella, 2021). Men and women equally declare the importance of the absence of restrictions during the distribution of responsibilities at work.

The information found serves as an effective catalyst for studying the differences between men and women. It is important to find an answer to whether women have an option for the same opportunities, wages, and benefits. When searching for an answer, it is necessary to establish whether the management policy at the enterprise has significant gaps in its activities. If there are shortcomings, eliminate them because this can become a serious barrier to the promotion and effective policy of gender equality in the sector under consideration.

The fishing industry is not the only place where women’s empowerment is necessary; it is important to strive to consider the rights and opportunities of ensuring gender equality. For any enterprise, the primary task is to provide a healthy environment where men and women will be equal in their opportunities and career growth. Many enterprises continue to pay attention to the environment but relegate to the background the issue of equal access of both sexes to the same job.

The role of women in the fishing industry and aquaculture as equal partners to men have a significant impact on the production capabilities of enterprises. If each production sector conducts internal analytics and uses different gender aspects (for example, team relationships and productivity), they can contribute to achieving gender equality. Such a policy of the enterprise will lead to the effective inclusion of women in the fishing industry and other production sectors.

In recent years, the stability of the development of the fishing industry has been supported by environmental responsibility, which excluded special attention to the social sphere, equality, and justice. In 2021, the Seafood and Gender Equality (SAGE) initiative was launched. Such an action aims to achieve gender equality in 75% of the global production of marine products in 2030 (Ariella, 2021). According to the International Organization of Women, the role of women in the fishing industry is important, but it is often underestimated and not paid attention to at all. This fact shows that women are given low-paid positions instead of leading ones.

The pandemic period caused by the COVID-19 virus was the impetus for large-scale changes in how businesses should organize and make decisions. Women should make important decisions to comply with environmental and social responsibility in the fishing industry. The industry under consideration is continuously developing and is ready for these changes. Gender diversity will lead to increased profits and improved psychological health in the workplace.

The SAGE initiative proved popular and received public support from the first days. However, modern standards are still more focused on environmental factors than gender equality. The lack of involvement of women in the decision-making process hurts the environmental factor in the fishing industry. The process of certification of marine products does not include a social factor; however, a woman’s role here is necessary for competence. The emphasis on gender equality is a natural process of the movement for the stable development of the fishing industry.

An essential step now will not be environmental responsibility, which by default is assigned to fishing, but improving relations and increasing the representation of people of different genders in this industry. Propaganda, education, and communication will be an excellent foundation for developing women’s potential and their leadership in the industry. The goal of involvement in management affairs in the fishing industry should be achieved. The SAGE movement is becoming the main platform for expressing and strengthening the voice of women, and it is not solely about fishing. Issues of gender equality and equal access to positions should include in all fishing industry departments and aquaculture at all possible levels. Attention should be paid to gender issues to promote the productivity of women’s work and strengthen human justice.


Ariella, S. (2021). New initiative fights gender inequality in the seafood industry. Forbes.

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