Likoma district fisheries officer Richard Banda has urged women to participate in fisheries activities.
He said this on Thursday during a meeting with women aimed at promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality in the fisheries sector.
“We want to promote women participation in the fishing sector to improve the resilience of fish species in Lake Malawi ecosystem. This will help to strengthen the livelihoods of communities that depend on fisheries resources,” said Banda.
He said women’s involvement in fisheries management can help to influence decisions of their male counterparts, including decisions on compliance with laws governing sustainable fishing.
Likoma Women Forum member Chimwemwe Minofu said most women fail to participate in fishing activities because they are afraid of men.
“I want to encourage my fellow women to be in the forefront when it comes to managing fishing activities.
“We have a crucial role to play in the industry, including taking care of the ecosystem. We need to voice out our needs and be able to lead fishing groups where men are also members.”
Minofu, who is also champion for sustainable fishing, said women participation in the industry will help to reduce gender-based practices which may harm women’s livelihoods.
Enifa Buleya, whose husband is a fisher, said she will encourage him to abide by sustainable fishing.
“Fishing is a major source of income for many families in the district. That is why it is important to use legal fishing gear,” she said.
The meeting was supported by Restoring Fisheries for Sustainable Livelihoods.