Learning Pathways

Gender and the ocean

Target Group
  • Teachers,
  • Students,
  • Policy makers,
  • Researchers,
  • Community workers
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Gender plays a crucial role in understanding and addressing the complex relationship between humanity and the ocean. Recognizing the importance of gender in ocean-related discussions is essential for fostering sustainable and equitable ocean management. This is the One Ocean Learn's eighth learning pathway, launched in October 2023.

Pathway Description

Gender biases and discrimination have led to disparities in ocean-related activities. Women often play key roles in coastal communities, engaging in fisheries, aquaculture, and other marine resource-dependent livelihoods. However, their contributions have often been undervalued and overlooked. Recognizing the contributions and knowledge of women in these roles, and ensuring their participation in ocean-related decision-making, not only enhances their economic status but also strengthens the social fabric of these communities.

Furthermore, gender intersects with environmental challenges. Climate change and marine resource depletion impact women and men differently due to distinct gender roles and responsibilities. Addressing these challenges requires acknowledging these differences and promoting inclusive solutions.

Ensuring gender equality in ocean-related sectors also brings fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table. Diverse voices lead to more comprehensive problem-solving and decision-making processes, which are vital for the sustainable use and conservation of ocean resources.

Understanding and integrating gender perspectives into ocean management is vital for achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 14 – “Life Below Water.” By recognizing the diverse contributions and needs of all genders, we can ensure a healthier ocean and a more just and prosperous future for coastal communities and the world at large.

Time Required for the completion of the full pathway – 1.5 hours
NOTE that you need not complete the entire learning pathway in one session.

Learning outcomes

It is up to the learner to measure their progress against the learning outcomes indicated below..

By the end of this course, you should be able to discuss:

  • Women’s roles in the context of the ocean.
  • Women’s contributions to the blue economy.
  • Gender equality and mainstreaming in ocean governance – and the SDGs.

Pathway Content

Module 1 An introduction to women and the ocean

Explore the dynamic interplay between women and the ocean, an often overlooked - yet essential - aspect of environmental sustainability. From addressing climate change vulnerabilities to harnessing women's contributions in ocean-related sectors, this module delves into the critical roles women play in the context of the ocean. Learn more about the significance of gender-transformative actions, the challenges faced by women, and the initiatives aimed at safeguarding their rights and enhancing their participation for a healthier ocean and more equitable ocean conservation and sustainable use.

Module 2 Gender and marine sectoral activities

Both men and women play an essential role in marine sectoral activities, but often women make unrecognized contributions in fisheries management, other ocean-related activities and SDG achievement. Women contribute significantly to fisheries as fisherwomen, processors and leaders yet their roles are frequently overlooked.

Module 3 Gender equality and mainstreaming

Human rights, biodiversity, and the ocean-climate nexus are interconnected. A healthy ocean and marine life are essential for human rights, providing food, livelihoods, and cultural identity in the face of climate change. In turn, climate change's negative impacts on the ocean affect biodiversity and undermine human rights. Integrating these aspects is vital for sustainable ocean governance and climate action.

Module 4 Quiz on gender and the ocean

Test your knowledge on gender and the ocean.

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