Community-based fisheries management through a gender lens: examining gendered participation in fisheries management and monitoring in Timor-Leste

  • House, Jenny (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)

Project: HDR ProjectPhD

Project Details


Community-based fisheries management (CBFM) can be a valuable approach in small-scale fisheries management. Community inclusion is an essential component of CBFM but can be complex and challenging to achieve due to various economic, social and cultural factors. The extent of people’s participation can be shaped by power differences between communities and outside actors, as well as within communities along the lines of gender, race or economic status. These power dynamics and social norms can affect the involvement of different groups of people in decision-making, their level of engagement and their access to resources. Without understanding these barriers, CBFM may serve to reinforce power dynamics and marginalise certain groups.

In Timor-Leste coastal communities rely on small-scale fisheries for their livelihoods and food security, and recently numerous communities have turned to CBFM to make progress towards the sustainability of this sector. This often comes in the form of co-management between the community and international NGOs. However, the usual androcentric nature of fisheries management and monitoring may undermine the success of these efforts.

This PhD study will examine participation in CBFM in Timor-Leste from a gender perspective. Using mixed methods, the study will characterize how CBFM is carried out in several communities, including how decisions are made, how power dynamics shape the CBFM process and how these issues impact different resource users. I will apply a gender lens to determine how women and men participate in different aspects of CBFM and understand the impacts that this has on their lived experiences. This study will also explore the potential of participatory fisheries monitoring to create pathways to participation in CBFM decision-making and women’s empowerment.

Rather than examining if increased gender equality can improve conservation outcomes, this thesis will assess whether gender inclusive CBFM can improve the management process and bring about positive social change. The results of the PhD study will provide valuable insights for organisations that are working to implement inclusive fisheries management and contribute to a growing area of gendered fisheries research in the global south.
Effective start/end date8/07/19 → …


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