Illuminating gender dimensions of hidden harvests

Since 2012, gender and fisheries papers and presentations often start with a statement that 47 percent of fishworkers worldwide are women. This estimate challenges assumptions of fisheries as a male-dominated sphere, broadening the production-focus of fisheries to include the range of fisheries-related work that contributes to this sector. But where does that number come from? Forty-seven percent was a key finding from efforts by WorldFish and the World Bank to count what had previously been hidden: the small-scale fisheries sector that included both fishing and post-harvest activities. These global estimates were based on fisheries data from 28 case study countries. While the study was ground-breaking, it also had limitations. For example, sex-disaggregated data were very limited, and there were no Pacific Island nations or territories included in the assessment.