A Professor of Fisheries Economics, Funmilola Agbebi, has called on relevant stakeholders to empower women in the blue economy sector to achieve Sustainable Development Goals for the country.
Agbebi stated that women play a significant role in the blue economy, which encompasses all economic activities related to the ocean, sea, and coastal areas.
She made the call at the Fourth Inaugural Lecture she delivered at the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State on Friday.
The lecture was titled: “Is it a man’s world? interrogating the blue economy through the gender lens.”
According to her, there is a need to promote gender equality in the blue economy sector to encourage women’s participation in the industry. She also argued that the blue economy was not only men’s world, saying women too play prominent roles in the sector.
She said, “Efforts to promote gender equality and empower women in the blue economy are essential for achieving sustainable development goals and ensuring the long-term health and prosperity of coastal and marine ecosystems.
“From the above points mentioned, the blue economy is not just a man’s world, women play a vital role in the industry, their participation and leadership are necessary for a more equitable and sustainability in the blue economy.
“Addressing gender inequalities and promoting women’s empowerment in the blue economy is not only a matter of social justice but also a key component of sustainable development and economic growth.
“The blue economy, like many other industries, has traditionally been dominated by men. However, when viewed through a gender lens, it is evident that women are needed to play a crucial role in the sustainable development of ocean resources.”
Also in the lecture, Agbebi opined that for the blue economy to benefit all people equitably, it was crucial to address gender inequalities and promote women’s participation and leadership in the industry.
“This can include policies and programmes that increase women’s access to finance, technology, and education, as well as efforts to reduce gender-based violence, which will promote women’s safety in the workplace.
“Considering the great roles performed by the women in the blue economy, there is a need to increase their quality of life. The problems of poverty would ultimately result in poor health, low rates of education and limited income. A concerted effort must be made to address the specific problems peculiar to women in the blue economy which impact women’s economic potential.
“Government should implement an intensive resource management. Ecosystem protection programmes must be included in the government’s plans for economic recovery. Non-formal education should be embraced to improve the quality of life. The activities should be supported with posters and radio programmes that will strengthen their communication capacities,” the don recommended.
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