Secure Fisheries Commits to Inclusivity on International Women’s Day

women fisheries somalia
A Somali woman drying tuna on the outskirts of Bossaso, Puntland. UN Photo / Tobin Jones

This year, International Women’s Day highlights women in innovation and promotes innovation that is gender sensitive and inclusive, with the theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change.” At Secure Fisheries, we strive toward innovative solutions to mitigate fisheries conflict and to promote sustainability, food and economic security, and community resilience through fisheries. These lofty goals cannot be achieved without gender inclusivity. Secure Fisheries, therefore, mainstreams gender into our programming, but this is a work in progress. We are continually working to better understand the unique roles of Somali women, youth, and other marginalized groups in the fisheries sector, as well as their needs and perspectives. This ensures that our work promotes equality and is able to fulfill our ambitious mission. Read Secure Fisheries’ guide to gender mainstreaming here.

In 2018, we achieved the following:

Upcoming Work

  • Engagement with fishing communities

    • As Secure Fisheries starts to work with fishing cooperatives and to promote co-management, we are incorporating inclusivity to ensure that fisheries management works and works for everyone. This means engaging women’s associations and ensuring women, youth, and marginalized groups benefit from fisheries development.

  • Somalia Fisheries Forum

    • Secure Fisheries is hosting the Somalia Fisheries Forum in 2019 to build off the success of the 2017 forum. This year, we will be incorporating sessions and workshops aimed at supporting and enhancing women’s roles in the fisheries sector. And Somali women will have a strong presence at the forum.

  • Partnering with women’s associations

    • Somalis best understand gender and empowerment in the Somali region. Secure Fisheries works with local women’s organizations, like the Puntland Business Women Umbrella, to ensure our work supports local women.

Secure Fisheries and the entire One Earth Future Foundation seeks collaborative and innovative solutions to conflict. But innovation must include and serve inclusivity. On this International Women's Day, we are proud to highlight the ways we have integrated diverse perspectives into our work, and we look to the future to “Think Equal, Build Smart, and Innovate for Change."

Do you have questions or lessons to share about gender mainstreaming? Email


[1] We investigated the role of women in fisheries conflict by accounting for their involvement in fisheries dispute events. Twelve of the events (or 9 percent) included a woman as an actor on one side of a conflict, and sexual assault was not reported. Only one event was driven by female gender identity: in 2014, women in the Mara district near Lake Victoria were targeted for body parts in ritual killings believed to increase fish catch.