Gender participation in fisheries management of Lake Victoria, Kenya
Lwenya, C. A
Abila, Richard O.
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Gender plays an important role in the artisanal fisheries, therefore it critical for both men and women to participate fisheries management. This paper analyzes gender responses to introduced or enhanced fisheries regulations and constraints to compliance so as to facilitate gender participation in the management of Lake Victoria in Kenya. Both primary and secondary data have been used. Results indicated that in Lake Victoria, there is a clear-cut division of labor differentiated by gender, which is culturally defined. Men and women respond to management measures differently due to differentiated roles and space they operate in. Poverty emerged as a constraint to both men and women but affecting the women much more due to lack of economic and status empowerment. Fishers have organized themselves into groups that act collectively. These organizations are crucial in the establishment of co-management for Lake Victoria. The study observed that women’s effective and meaningful participation in fishery management is greatly hampered by their subordinate positions at the household and community level. They have minimal access to and control over production resources and even much less, over benefits. Women should be empowered economically and socially to participate effectively in fisheries management. Further, they should be encouraged to organize themselves into support groups to; attain access to credit and fishery resources; to encourage appropriate fishery practices; and to diversify in non-fishing activities to ease pressure on the fishery.
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