Women in aquaculture: JIRCAS International Symposium 2018
The Fish Site’s Women in Aquaculture series was highlighted at a recent seminar at the United Nations University in Tokyo, which focused on women’s roles in the seafood sector.
Organised by the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), during the seminar seven female speakers shared their findings and views on the participation of women in fisheries and aquaculture. The talks, which were attended by 160 people, were followed by a panel discussion and question-and-answer session.
Dr Meryl Williams of the Asian Fisheries Society was one of the seven speakers at the event© JIRCAS
Among the key themes was how women can contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), food security and a healthy future.
After some opening remarks by JIRCAS President Dr Masa Iwanaga, Dr Meryl Williamsof the Asian Fisheries Society began by outlining the present achievements and future prospects for female researchers and administrators. Although women are becoming recognised as the backbone of fisheries and aquaculture, she said, more can be done to make them visible in projects and programmes and increase funding for gender research.
“Women’s future prospects seem brighter, but will depend ultimately on the directions taken by societies and economies,” she said. “Gender research must also connect to the political economy, as this governs the possibility for transformative change and affects outcomes for women in fisheries.”
Dr Kaoru Nakata of the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency then highlighted efforts to increase the recruitment level of female researchers and promote women to management and decision-making roles. Having more women in leadership roles, she said, is likely to establish systems that take women’s needs into account and utilise their talents. “The active participation of women will bring new power and energy to their respective communities and to Japan’s fisheries sector,” she said.
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