Over the past three decades, the global aquaculture industry has risen from obscurity to become a critical source of food for millions of people, mostly through export. This boom has led scholars to question whether aquaculture contributes to the food security of poorer people in producing countries.
More than 1.4 million women are engaged in Bangladesh’s aquaculture sector. Yet they work mostly in low-status, low-paid and arduous jobs. For instance, 80 percent of casual laborers in shrimp-processing factories are women. In contrast, women make up less than 1 percent of managers in these factories.
Women make a significant contribution to aquaculture in Indonesia, yet they face more barriers in and receive fewer benefits from the sector than men. These are the findings of new case studies carried out by WorldFish and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH). Closing this gender gap will enable the aquaculture sector to enhance women’s social and economic empowerment, and drive economic development in the country.