Promoting gender equality and empowerment in aquaculture for women
International Women’s Day also raises awareness of the global issue of gender equality for women in society and the workforce. Gender equality is specifically addressed within the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.”
Launched on 1 January 2016, SDG 5 is Gender Equality - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Achieving gender equality and empowerment of women in aquaculture can occur at all levels from feeding, harvesting and processing to managing corporations. At the individual level, aquaculture can empower as a source of food and additional income for women and their families through subsistence or small-scale aquaculture. At this level, where there are challenges, there are a number of organizations involved in raising awareness of issues encountered by women in aquaculture and empowering women to overcome these challenges. For example, a USAID/Worldfish project called “Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition” (AIN) in Bangladesh enabled women to overcome social challenges which forbid them from entering the water through the use of gillnets:
Gill nets boost women's involvement in aquaculture in Bangladesh
At the corporate level, an example of empowerment of women in aquaculture is Madam Truong Thi Le Khanh, founder of the Vietnamese Vinh Hoan company in 1997. Growing from a private Pangasius farming enterprise, today Vinh Hoan is a vertically integrated corporation. Vinh Hoan is GLOBALG.A.P. certified and the leading producer and processor of Pangasius in Vietnam and is still led by Madam Khanh as Chairwoman and Ms. Nguyen Ngo Vi Tam as CEO.