Wednesday, March 9, 2016

GENDER AND YOUTH: New models of masculinity and feminity to fight gender inequality

Women and Youth
The Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa- Creating a conducive and enabling environment for the fish sector to create equitable, social and economic development in Africa, highlights that, to a make sustainable positive changes in gender equality, a long-term bottom-up process requiring adequate funding is needed and to recongnize the critical role played by women within fisheries.

According to the Policy document, putting in place mechanisms to promote and protect women’s rights to participate in all aspects of marine, coastal and inland water fisheries governance and management and seek to improve access of women to fish and fish markets, particularly through the provision of credit at affordable rates is key. While consideration of age is important in gender analysis, youth also needs specific attention in its own right.

The June 2014 document, revealed that gender has been on  the development agenda internationally for a long time, many inequalities remain and the role of women in fisheries and aquaculture is often not documented and hence undervalued. This leads to lost development opportunities and undermines the contribution of the sector to food and nutrition security, poverty eradication, equitable development and sustainable resource utilisation.

The Policy document stated that youth are very often hit by unemployment and limited access to resources and services. Young people represent the future and they need to be fully engaged in shaping that future. For this, they need to be given appropriate skills through education and empowerment. 

In addition, strategies and actions for fisheries reform. A gender and youth consideration should be included in policy, laws and plans and be knowledge based. Accordingly, gender- disaggregate sector data, by age and occupational categories, are needed. Data also need to be analyses in and intervention. A gender and youth forces should be applied in Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and investment planning and include success indicators for tracking progress toward agreed specific gender objectives.

Long- term commitment of funding for transformation change processes should be made, including for institutional capacity development for gender mainstreaming at the local, national and regional levels. This requires gender-balanced staffing, covering different discipline and sub sectors ( fishing, fish farming and post harvest activities), and the integration of gender performance and outcome indicators.

Effective partnership of women and in decision making processes ( on trade, fisheries trade, fisheries management, aquaculture development and investment planning) should be ensured at local, n allocation, national and regional levels is vital according to the document.

The document further explained that a value chain approach should be adopted when analyzing the sector to take broader trade issues, climate change impact and the financial performances of the sector in to account in order to define support required for improving women and youth labour productivity, working conditions and unpaid work by women.

Inter- sector approaches and partnership should be promoted for empowering women and youths, focusing on formal and non-formal education (literacy, accounting, soft and technical skills and general life skills) and improving access to finance and health services.

Gender based violence prevention should be addressed at all levels, including within households. New models of masculinity and femininity and thus more equal relationships have  to be promoted to fight gender inequality in the sector. Policy formulation and implementing, responsive to underlying causes, are needed.

Child labour should be eliminated and a conducive and conducive and enabling environment created for decent youth employment including access to financial services and youth friendly health services.

In the Islamic Republic of the Gambia, the fisheries sector is conquered by non-Gambians of which Senegalese youth formed the core, followed by Ghanaian s and Malians nationality.  

Many young Gambians - between the ages of 18-35 are eager to get office job or travel to Europe for greener pasture as a result, the sector has been dominated by other nationalists.

The government of the day, under the dynamic leadership of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhagie Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh has given maximum support the fisheries sector by providing fishing gears- boats to some Gambian youth.

In the rural parts of the Gambia, one can found a good number of Malians- old men with their families catching fishes in the rivers and lakes.

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