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Senegal: Role of Women in a Model of Community Management of Fish Resources and Marine Environments, Cayar

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A. Soumare
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In most cases, women are not involved in the planning, development or management of marine and coastal resources. Integrating women's and men's usage of these resources into the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) increases the chance of both women and men participating in and benefiting from the MPA. This case study highlights the attempt to fully involve women in fisheries and coastal resource management in Cayar, Senegal - at the onset, women and men in the community were both involved in the participatory process of establishing the MPA. Women's roles in the industry include: processing fish products; collecting freshwater and fuel wood; and trade, such as buying and selling fish products. Despite this involvement, many women face barriers to participating fully in the planning and management of these resources. To help overcome these, gender-sensitive stakeholder consultation in establishing the MPA were used, and a microfinance programme was developed so women could, for example, initiate their own wholesale fish businesses.Lessons learned from the programme include:- Use women's knowledge of biodiversity as they interact differently with the marine environment than men- Ensure equal participation in stakeholder and staff training by using single-sex focus groups and not scheduling meetings at traditional male meeting places- Monitor how women and men participate in and benefit from coastal resource management- Encourage leadership and responsibility in promoting gender equality.

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