For the first time, the Vanuatu Fisheries Department has hosted a Gender and Social inclusion workshop for fisheries and aquaculture last week in February.

Most of the time when we talk about fisheries, we tend to think of fishermen. However, women, children and special needs individuals also play a part in fishing. For instance; a woman may carry out post harvest processing, a child may go fishing with his/her friends and someone who is disabled may still be able to take part in gleaning. Recognizing that all these activities are being carried out by different individuals with different needs, the department is starting to be more sensitive and inclusive particularly about decisions made on resource management.

In the National Coastal Fisheries Roadmap, the very first guiding principle outlined is:

“To recognize women’s contribution to coastal fisheries and promote more inclusive fisheries management and livelihoods”
(linked to the National People’s Plan under the 4th objective of the society pillar).

In this workshop, both VFD staff and other stakeholders and NGOs came together to share ideas and learn about gender sensitive facilitation techniques that can be used in the office and on the ground so that all voices are heard (Men, women, Special needs groups and elderly). We, also, learnt about what other organizations were doing and the tools that they are producing.

This two-day training workshop was co-developed by the Pathways project (under the Fisheries Dept.), the James Cook University (JCU) ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, WorldFish Solomon Islands and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Fiji.

Thank you to all who attended and especially to our partners for making this workshop happen.

Information received from Vanuatu Department of Fisheries Facebook page.