Gender Differences in Participation, Roles, and Attitude towards Mariculture Operation: A Case Study in the Philippines

Mariculture was envisioned to contribute to poverty reduction by increasing employment opportunities and income in the area where it is situated. This paper assesses the participation in mariculture of local men and women in seven mariculture sites in the country, the roles they perform, and their willingness to be involved in mariculture operation. Results show that only 24 % of the 785 households had members with any participation in mariculture since they were established in the area. By site, household participation ranged between 5 % and 44 %. This was translated to only 228 individuals. Although the men dominated mariculture, the women had demonstrated that they can equally contribute to mariculture as an operator, caretaker or feeder. The majority of the study participants expressed they like having mariculture in their municipalities, particularly men from non-fishing households. The willingness to be involved in mariculture was also high, particularly among men from fishing households. The willingness to become a mariculture operator was higher among women than men. The women or local residents, particularly from households who are interested in mariculture, must be given support to start up small-scale mariculture operations towards increasing local employment and reducing poverty in mariculture areas. To increase women participation in mariculture, women stereotypes need to be overcome and also local legislations that will require a certain percentage of all mariculture harvests to be sold directly to local retailers and small processors, mostly dominated by women, are needed.

Authors: Alice Joan G. Ferrer, Hermina A. Francisco, Benedict Mark Carmelita,  Jinky Hopanda and Canesio Predo 

Source: Asian Fisheries Society

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