Abstract

For many years, aquaculture has been erroneously viewed as a male-dominated sector, offering women inadequate opportunities partly due to the high capital investment requirement and or the technologies linked to the venture. Women work in all areas of the aquaculture value chain but their opportunities have not kept pace with aquaculture growth. Hence, they form a larger component of the poor, limiting their income-generating activities and asset building potential. Gender disaggregated statistics that could track women’s engagement in aquaculture activities in Kenya are scanty. Hence, women’s presence, influence and interests are invisible. All aquaculture labour practices should embrace the Sustainable Development Goals 5 that focus on gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. To that end, gender equality must be mainstreamed into aquaculture planning, development, monitoring and evaluation. This will require concerted political efforts by sector leaders, advocates and gender champions, supported by new technical instruments for implementation. The study leverages on incorporating gender lens and making gender visible in every phenomenon, questioning if, how and why processes, opportunities and standards differ systematically for women and men and not solely for women. Finally, it proposes sections where women’s engagements can be strengthened to increase the importance of aquaculture production in Kenya.

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