HLPF 2022 Side Event: Women in Small-Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture
Concluding remarks by
Ambassador Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland
Thank you Janaya.
A big round of applause for the panelists for their informative presentations and discussions. I walk away from this event enlightened and committed to play my part.
Some of what I will say in my concluding remarks has already been stated but is worth repeating.
We know that between 45 and 56 million women participate in small-scale fisheries operations globally. This constitutes more than 40% of the fisheries workforce.
And beyond playing a crucial role in blue food production, women are also fundamental in education, food preparation and family life - all important factors for the achievement of the SDGs.
Despite these factors, women are often underrepresented in all levels of fisheries governance and, as we have heard, their contributions are frequently overlooked and underrecognized by local and national government policy makers and community officials. This needs to change.
Due to COVID-19, climate change and conflict, notably in Ukraine, food insecurity is on the rise, and to overcome these challenges, we need all hands on deck.
This includes women working in small-scale fisheries and aquaculture and, indeed, many of our speakers today emphasized the different ways we can provide support to these women:
Firstly, we can improve the organization of fishing women and gatherers to ensure that artisanal women fishers have a voice in public arenas to exercise their fundamental rights.
Secondly, we can and should include women who are involved in fisheries and aquaculture operations in decision making, both at local, regional, and national levels, and support their leadership in co-management schemes and/or fishing cooperatives.
Thirdly, we should ensure women feel safe, visible, and their priorities are met, and we need to appreciate and respect the knowledge and values of women in small-scale fisheries and aquaculture.
Last but not least, we need to invest in and build the capacity of institutions and relevant stakeholders on gender equity, human rights, and social inclusion.
Ladies and gentlemen, and everyone outside these two categories.
We appreciate the fact that you took time out of your busy schedules to participate in this HLPF side-event on the important topic of women in small-scale fisheries and aquaculture.
We hope you found the discussions informative and useful for whatever work you engage in. And as we all know, achieving SDG5 and SDG14 are key for achieving the entire Agenda 2030.