Gender in the farmed fish value chain of Bangladesh: A review of the evidence and development approaches
This publication (PDF) by WorldFish analyzes gender relations in fish farming and value chains in Bangladesh, based on a literature review. To better appreciate the situation, it is important to understand the underlying social and gender norms that determine what women and men can and should do if the aim is to engage women, in particular, as more effective value chain actors. The authors state there are considerable differences in the ways and degrees to which men and women participate in the aquaculture value chain in Bangladesh. These differences are rooted in and perpetuated by social and gender norms and relations. These gender issues have received significant attention in the literature on the Bangladesh aquaculture sector, but have focused mainly on the producer node of the chain. The key gender differences are in the division of labor, access to and control over resources and benefits from aquaculture, and levels of decision-making power. Their workload in reproductive roles limits women from full participation, while a lack of access and control over assets and resources, as well as a lack of decision-making power, constrain opportunities and incentives for investment and upgrading. Many aquaculture development projects in Bangladesh have taken gender into account to varying degrees, although our review was unable to assess to what degree of success. The approaches used by these projects show a progression over time with gender issues and their complex nature being increasingly recognized in project design and implementation. There is also growing recognition that project teams must be well aware of gender issues and embody the knowledge and skills to address these in their work, and that project teams themselves should be gender balanced. New aquaculture value chain projects could benefit from these lessons and take them onboard from the outset.