Women are important in managing natural resources, including in the fisheries sector. Realizing this, the Nusantara Nature Conservation Foundation (YKAN), together with partners, initiated a program to strengthen women's role in supporting fisheries sustainably. In early May, YKAN held a series of "Women's Role Workshops in Small-Scale Fisheries." This workshop was held in four locations: Takalar Regency, South Sulawesi; Bima Regency, West Nusa Tenggara; Buleleng Regency, Bali; and Padang City, West Sumatra. This workshop is a medium for raising awareness about the importance of recognizing the role of women, especially in the capture fisheries sector.
Efforts to strengthen the role of women in small-scale fisheries began with a survey in February 2023. This survey used the interview method involving 450 respondents involved in capture fisheries. The respondents included fishermen, fishermen's wives, collectors, and fish product processing workers. The survey results show that women play an essential role in capturing fisheries in the gender mainstreaming program in the small-scale fisheries sector.
"Women play an important role in fishing activities. The role of women can be seen through setting operational costs, procuring supplies, and being involved in marketing and processing fish. For this reason, we support what YKAN is doing because talking about sustainable fisheries without involving women is impossible," said the Head of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office of Bali Province, Putu Sumardiana.
"The workshop organized by YKAN is an opportunity for all of us to learn more about gender, equality, and gender justice. Women should still be able to do more than just housework. Families depend not only on men but also on women," said Muhammad Ikhsan Larigau, Secretary of South Galesong District, Takalar Regency, South Sulawesi, adding.
The Head of Bugis Village, Sape District, Bima Muhammad Akbar Regency, conveyed a similar sentiment. "Consciously or not, the role of women in every aspect of life is very influential. We thank YKAN for providing additional knowledge through this workshop. Without the role of women, there are many jobs for men that cannot or at least are hampered to be carried out," said Akbar.
Ketut Sukarta, a fisherman in Les Village, Buleleng, Bali, also admitted that this assistance provided a better understanding of men's and women's roles. "I thank YKAN, from here, I learned how important my wife's role is in managing a fisherman's household."
Made Anggarwati, wife of Ketut Sukarta, confirmed this. "In the household, I manage finances from my husband's fishing, and I am always involved in every plan to go to sea. I help purchase and prepare supplies such as food and fuel. After my husband returns to the sea, I also help sell the fish he catches. This workshop has even made me aware that what we have been doing so far is the right thing. Maybe all this time, other people thought I was too burdened because I was involved in my husband's business. But as a wife, it's only natural for me to help my husband," said Made.
The gender mainstreaming program is part of the strategy for carrying out YKAN's conservation mission. "Cultivating equity and inclusion is how we approach the aspects most directly related to our mission, namely conservation, and science. YKAN has a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) program aims to reach women by sustainably supporting fisheries. We work with partners to implement mechanisms to ensure sustainable fisheries and create healthy marine ecosystems," explained YKAN's Senior Manager of Sustainable Fisheries, Glaudy Perdanahardja.
It is hoped that the survey and workshop results will provide input to policymakers and the general public to achieve gender equality in the small-scale fisheries sector.
Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is a scientific-based non-profit organization that has been present in Indonesia since 2014. With the mission of protecting lands and waters as life support systems, we provide innovative solutions to realize the harmony of nature and humans through effective natural resource management, prioritizing a non-confrontational approach, and building a network of partnerships with all stakeholders for a sustainable Indonesia. For more information, visit ykan.or.id.