Women in fisheries and aquaculture to dominate in Japan

WorldFish’s Yumiko Kura and former Director General Meryl Williams are among the speakers scheduled to present at the JIRCAS symposium in Tokyo this week.

Organized annually by the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), the event – ‘Women in Fisheries: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Contributions to Research and Industry’ – will for the first time feature an all-women lineup of speakers.

JIRCAS has played a central role in putting Japan at the forefront of scientific research and collaboration in the field of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Through various joint research programs in developing regions, it has also served to promote gender equality.

This year’s symposium invites women administrators and scientists to share their research and views on the need for the active participation, involvement and leadership of women in fisheries and aquaculture to achieve the SDGs.

Connecting the data dots

The symposium will be opened by Masa Inagawa, President of JIRCAS, and Kazuhiko Shimada, Deputy Director General of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council Secretariat at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).

Following her will be Dr. Meryl Williams, Chair of the Asian Fisheries Society’s Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section and WorldFish Director General from 1994 to 2004. She will give a keynote speech on women’s contributions to fisheries and aquaculture in developing areas, and the present achievements of and future prospects for women researchers and administrators.

“Women in fisheries and aquaculture have few formal rights and little voice and are simply not counted in most official statistics,” Williams says. “Labor statistics for the postharvest and support sectors, where women are more numerous than in…