UNEP CEP Celebrates International Women's Day 2016

Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality

The United Nations observance of International Womens’ Day on 8 March reflects a global day to celebrate the achievements of women and marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. It will also reflect on how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.

Women play an essential part in marine environments and fisheries economies, specifically in the small-scale and artisanal fisheries sector. They play key roles in managing finances at the household level and managing aquatic resources at the community level. Likewise in the area of inland fisheries, which is an important sector for food security. Their activities, paid and unpaid, include the full range along the value chain, as well as pre- and post-harvest activities. This includes seaweed and shellfish collection, fishing, weaving and repairing nets, processing, sales, and local and intra-regional trade.

Also, women in the small-scale and artisanal fisheries sector have difficulty securing their rights as workers because their role is often unrecognized. They have limited or no access to social security, capital and credit, and face hardships in securing land rights and access to fishery resources. The lack of capital accessible to women in small-scale fisheries means a lack of resources to buy necessary equipment for storing fish, maintaining quality and freshness, which results in less control over markets.

In indigenous and local coastal communities, women are viewed to have extensive local and traditional ecological knowledge, which contributes towards the sustainable use and conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems.

Human beings are at the centre of concern for sustainable development. UNEP CEP celebrates International Women’s Day in recognition of the vital role of women in safeguarding our environment. Much of the environmental changes of this time including fragile ecosystems, air pollution, resource depletion often times displace communities especially women from productive activities and are an increasing threat to a healthy environment.