Gender action plans in the aquaculture value chain: what's missing?

Roel H. Bosma*, Thi Dien Nguyen, Lorna M. Calumpang, Sef Alba Carandang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Gender equality has been a political issue in view of human rights and welfare since several decades. Therefore, many countries have developed Gender Action Plans (GAPs) that support equal access of both sexes to education, employment and finance. Two workshops on GAPs in aquaculture and a literature review brought about the question: what's missing in Asian sectoral GAPs. Not all reviewed Asian countries have GAPs for fishery/ aquaculture, but all encountered constraints to achieve their goals regarding equal access for women. Women's contribution in aquaculture tends to go beyond the traditional gender divide. For example, women may lead in the area of production because they can combine aquaculture with their homebound tasks and own vertically integrated companies. However, skewed perceptions on the role, status and perception of women and men, more so in strong than weak patriarchies (the former accept the subservient role, while the latter exercise the dominant role) limit women's access to training opportunities on new aquaculture technologies. Women are also left out in policy- and decision-making processes; and in the value chain, women receive lower wages than men. Their role is underestimated by lack of disaggregated data, as reflected in post-disaster interventions and industrial development programs. To be effective sectoral GAPs, based on disaggregated data, should have budgets, plans and target indicators for which leaders could be held accountable. These GAPs, however, can't address the required radical change in attitude toward women; unless deliberately planned educational media campaigns are embedded into the national GAPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1307
JournalReviews in Aquaculture
Issue number4
Early online date10 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • farmed seafood
  • gender mainstreaming
  • inequality
  • patriarchy
  • poverty
  • women


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