Indonesia’s seafood sector employs more than 56 million people, where 70% of them are women involved in a range of activities – from catching and processing, to selling seafood products (Kiara, 2014). While the number is significant, it is not representative across the sector, with women overrepresented in labour-intensive jobs but underrepresented in positions of leadership. Today, SecondMuse is proud to partner with USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership to launch ‘Indonesian Women in Fisheries’, a campaign to increase public awareness on the importance of women’s role in the seafood sector.
The campaign will profile seven women who have been working in the sector and bringing impact to their environment through their work. The women are all based around Bitung, North Sulawesi, one of the biggest seafood regions in Indonesia. Through this campaign, the public will hear stories from various perspectives with each woman representing a different job: from the leader of a fisherwomen group, a female entrepreneur, to a worker in a processing company.
Through social media channels, the campaign aims to change the current narrative of the sector as a male-dominated sector. “It may look like the hardest job is catching the fish, which is done mostly by men. But if you think about it, the fish will go nowhere without being processed and sold in the market, and this work is mostly done by women,” said Reiny Tumbol, a marine and fisheries lecturer in North Sulawesi University, illustrating how women play a central role in the sector.
Evidence has shown that empowering women promotes sustainable fishing practices, strengthens livelihoods, and supports improved fisheries management. Hence, public support for women in fisheries is crucial for the future of the sector and will help them advance in the sector. Indonesian Women in Fisheries will run until the end of the 2019, inviting the public to share unheard stories of women who make a difference in the sector.
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