Gender Equality at Sea

Mesoamerican Coral Reef

Gulf of California Rocky Reef


Capacity-building of Leaders and Fishing Organizations

OBJECTIVE: To achieve gender equality in the decision-making process for marine conservation and fishery management.

Collective action is a crucial element for the successful implementation of projects, conservation tools and sustainable fishery. Inclusion, participation, cooperation and transparency are fundamental to stimulating collective action. However, women are generally excluded from decision-making processes, despite their important contributions to fishing activities.

Women’s work in fisheries is underrepresented in the statistics. Although women in fisheries are usually recognized for helping men, there are also female leaders in the fishing sector.

In the corporate sector, there is evidence that mixed teams yield better results than single-gender teams because they offer a diversity of perspectives, experiences and knowledge. In the fishing sector, a study carried out on Isla Natividad (Baja California Sur) showed that women usually invest more time in sustainable fishery management, while men are more interested in the income generated by fishing. Including women in decision-making processes fosters cooperation, solidarity, and conflict resolution. There is a strong political commitment in Mexico to supporting women and achieving gender equality.

There is a National Institute for Women, which is part of the Secretariat of Social Development. Mexico is No. 74 (out of a total of 188 countries) in the Gender Inequality Index of the United Nations Program for Development. However, throughout the country, there has been a dramatic increase in violence against women in recent years.

This project seeks to develop the necessary conditions for the equal participation of men and women in decision-making processes in order to achieve long-lasting marine conservation and sustainable fishery. This step is very important in accomplishing our goal of coastal communities using their resources in a sustainable and responsible manner for the conservation of marine biodiversity.

To achieve this, we are currently developing a training program for six women and six men from twelve coastal communities involved in marine conservation within the three ecosystems in which COBI works: the kelp forest in Baja California, the rocky reefs in the Gulf of California, and the Mesoamerican coral reef. The program will include leadership training, and communication and conflict resolution practice based on experiences from our community leadership program. All parts of the training will include a focus on gender, aimed at helping men and women better understand each other, inspiring them to support gender equality, and encouraging them to carry out fair practices in their communities. Additionally, we will measure the impact of women on all phases of production in three artisanal fisheries; we will lead an exercise to help participants achieve gender equality in decision-making; and we will create a digital platform to communicate data related to the three axes of this project: 1) gender, 2) fisheries, and 3) decision-making.

  • According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, up to 90% of processing activities of some fisheries are carried out by women.
  • Over 260 million people in the world are involved in fishing activities and approximately 50% are women.

Jorge Torre

This project is in constant evolution, and your support becomes key to generate more impact in marine conservation and sustainable fishery. The following list presents current project needs, as well as the possibility of direct donation to COBI or contact our donations team ( Let’s all do our part!


  • Experts in gender subjects and economics.
  • Media interested in presenting the Committee before a wider audience.
  • Donations and funding for financial sustainability for marine preservation and sustainable fishery.
  • Volunteering or community outreach with similar interests and experiences.
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