Women do fish: a case study on gender and the fishing industry in Sierra Leone
- Sierra Leone is one of the few countries with comprehensive legislation on fisheries and a special Fisheries Division established under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The focus of the legislation and the government agency is on the improvement and development of artisanal fisheries. The onset of the war in Sierra seriously affected artisanal fishing activities - fishermen were killed, maimed or driven away from their communities and women were forced to seek refuge in safer places. In every fishing community, men, women and children have clearly defined activities to perform on a daily basis. Traditionally, and still in the main, men do the fishing itself while women play a supportive role. But women are now becoming more involved in diverse fishing activities ranging from processors/traders to boat owners. Some women can spend many hours a day in fishing related activities for which they receive very little or no assistance from any agencies. In fish processing, for example, which is one of the most important roles women perform, very few women have the opportunity to upgrade their activities through training and improved technology. This paper looks at the varied situation of women in fisheries in Sierra Leone. As a conclusion, the paper proposes some measures for the improvement of women's contribution and status in this industry. Women's major concerns are better markets for their products and improved credit facilities to enhance their fishing-related activities.
- Gender 
- Conference Paper