Women and social cohesion in coastal communities

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Women and social cohesion in coastal communities

Worldwide, women play a range of roles in fisheries, making significant contributions to the industry. However, the role of women in European fisheries has largely remained unnoticed or under noticed by policy makers and the general public, in spite of their presence in all areas of the sector.

The GIFS research on women and social cohesion in coastal fishing communities has identified activities very rich activities that require interconnectedness amongst people in towns. This interconnectedness acts as catalyst for positive change and cohesiveness in societies and supports the social fabric in the historical fishing towns of Arnemuiden (1) and Breskens (2) in the Netherlands; Concarneau (3)and Douarnenez (4) in France; Oostende (5) in Belgium and Newlyn (6); and Wells-next-the Sea (7) and Cromer (8) in England.

The contribution of women to the social bonds in their fishing communities is found offshore as well as inshore, in roles such as (fish) catching caption, trading caption, processing caption, tourism/heritage caption, education caption, policy caption, household caption and administration/management caption.

By playing an active role in these domains women contribute significantly to the cohesiveness and sustainability of fishing communities. Examples can be found in our interactive map.

During our research into the social and cultural values of fishing towns and communities we have identified the social, economic and cultural roles played by women and assessed their contribution to the sustainability of coastal communities. A full report on the findings of the research can be found in xxx. The document presented here provides an insight into women’s activities and roles within their fishing towns and is intended to inform policy makers, academics, professionals and practitioners as well as the general public at the European, national and local levels.