Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Marine Affairs

First Advisor

Elizabeth Mendenhall


The Sustainable Fisheries Management Project’s primary goal is to create a more sustainable artisanal fishery in Ghana, in order to increase food security within the nation. One of SFMP’s strategies within this fisheries-based project was to implement a gender mainstreaming strategy in order to empower previously overlooked women stakeholders. This chapter will present the results of a study on the impacts of SFMP’s gender mainstreaming strategy on members of Ghana’s artisanal fisheries sector.

This study focuses on impacts primarily associated with fishers, fish processors, members of client and partner organizations, as well as the organizations themselves, and on the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development. In order to answer the guiding questions addressed below, this study uses a contextual analysis, and field data in the form of key informant and focus group interviews collected in June of 2018, in the third year of the implementation of SFMP’s gender mainstreaming strategy. The guiding questions of this study are:

  1. At the grassroots, organizational, and governmental scales, what have been the impacts of SFMP’s gender mainstreaming strategy?
  2. At the grassroots, organizational, and governmental scales, to what extent has gender been mainstreamed within the Ghanaian artisanal fisheries sector?
  3. With regards to SFMP programming and activities, what factors have affected/led to the current level of gender mainstreaming within Ghana’s artisanal fisheries sector?
  4. With regards to SFMP programming and activities, what factors have affected the equity of women in Ghana’s artisanal fisheries communities.

Results illustrate that at the grassroots, organizational, and governmental levels this strategy has resulted in ‘mainstreaming light’ rather than a fully integrated mainstreaming, and thus fails to avoid further marginalizing and burdening women. In order to create gender integration based on true empowerment, the Ghanaian fisheries sector should more thoroughly mainstream gender on all levels, and future fisheries development projects should consider gender strategies that address the roots of women’s oppression, rather than focusing on empowerment rooted in goals relating to sustainable fisheries.



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