A workshop for Women in Fisheries Against Violence (WiFVEs) has taken place in Takoradi to discuss issues confronting women in the fishing industry.
It was attended by fishermen and fish processors from the fishing communities in the Western and Central Regions.
Adiza Ama Owusu of Hen Mpoano and Project Manager for WiFVEs explained to the B&FT that the project is looking at how there will be gender equity within the fisheries sector, as well as seeks to support and end some of the issues such as abuse and violence within the sector.
She said the organisation realised that due to the dwindling of fish stock, there has been a lot of social and economic issues that have come up since the livelihood of the fisherfolk depends on fishing.
This, she noted has put a lot of pressure on the fisherfolks which leads to Gender Based Violence, abuse, discrimination, among others, especially on women.
She explained that a validation on the WiFVEs project supported by the European Union, based on an analysis were on two assessments: baseline situation before the project started, and the other was on gender-based violence to look at the dynamics within the fisheries sector, the drivers, effects, among others.
“We are here to solicit input from stakeholders to see if the findings that were unearthed on the field were actually true, so we validate the findings from the assessment. Now, we are going back to the communities and strategise on how to implement the activities based on the findings, targetting messages, doing awareness creation, and a lot of trainings because we want to build the capacities of the vulnerable groups, identify and empower them to also have a say on issues confronting them,” she added.
Mamaga Richlove Awortu, Central Regional Director of Gender, explained that with the issue of men abusing women in the fishing communities, there is need to take a second look and address it holistically.
She alleged that women in the fishing business invest so much in the fishermen, especially when they go for fishing, however, most of the fishermen do not render proper account, resulting in misunderstanding most times.
“I believe there should be some agreement before they invest into whatever the men are going to do, so that when they come back, they know what to give to the women and what to keep as well for peace to prevail,” she said.
She mentioned that the Department of Gender under the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection has put measures in place to educate women and men in the fishing communities on the law and the position of the law so that fishermen will know how to handle issues relating to women in their various communities.
About the project
The WiFVEs is a three-year project (2022-2024) funded by the European Union, which has the overall objective of achieving gender equality in Ghana by advocating against gender-based violence, abuse and discrimination in Ghana’s marine fisheries sector.