Looking Beyond the Fisherwoman: A Case Study of Women's Empowerment in Marine Resource Management and Policy
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University of Washington <bold>Abstract</bold> Looking Beyond the Fisherwoman: A Case Study of Women's Empowerment in Marine Resource Management and Policy Melissa A. Luna Chair of Supervisory Committee: Dr. Patrick Christie School of Marine and Environmental Affairs The substantial role of women in fisheries is gaining increasing recognition, but awareness about women's roles in the fish value chain has not led to equal gender representation in management and policy. Moreover, the role and participation of professional women in marine resource management and policy remains under-studied and largely unacknowledged. The lack of understanding of women's role in fisheries policy-making is biasing the ways in which management decisions are made and how conservation and fisheries management programs are designed. This study documents and examines the implications of women's participation at national and regional levels of marine resource management in a large multinational marine conservation program, the United States Coral Triangle Initiative (US CTI) Support Program. The study uses a mixed-methodological approach to examine factors that affected women's degree of empowerment in the US CTI. Using a combination of quantitative surveys, social network analysis and qualitative interviews, results indicate that women's participation in US CTI regional activities contributed to their empowerment. The potential for international programs to contribute to increased gender parity in regional and national decision-making was demonstrated through increased capacity, new social connections, enhanced leadership and changing cultural attitudes.
- Marine affairs