New support for fisherwomen for sustainable access to fishery resources in Morocco

The project "Support to fisherwomen for sustainable access to fishery resources in the most vulnerable areas of Morocco" was launched Thursday, March 18 in Rabat, by the Department of Maritime Fisheries and the United Nations Entity for the gender equality and the empowerment of women (UN Women)
This project, which lasts for one year, is the object of a partnership between the Department of Maritime Fisheries - Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests -, UN Women and the Representation of the Food Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Morocco. It receives financial support of US $ 356,509.00 from the Government of Japan.
Its objective is to contribute to the economic empowerment of women shore-based fisherwomen to become economic actors in their territory (Casablanca-Settat, Marrakech-Safi and Souss-Massa), while meeting their needs for better access to food security and optimized management of fishery resources.
Through capacity building and access to modern technologies, this project will benefit nearly 650 women fishermen. The project is part of the program for the economic empowerment of women and the enhancement of women's work in the fisheries sector, in which the Department of Maritime Fisheries has been involved since the 2000s, said on this occasion, the Secretary General of the Department of Fisheries, Zakia Driouich.
It is also in line with the High Directives of HM King Mohammed VI and the orientations of the integrated national program for the economic empowerment of women and girls by 2030 (Morocco-Attamkine), noted Ms. Driouich, adding that this project aims to strengthen the empowerment and economic position of women in the fishing sector while improving their working and living conditions in rural areas. For her part, the Representative of the UN Women Morocco Office, Leila Rhiwi, noted that globally, countries that have succeeded in significantly reducing gender inequalities are located at high levels of economic performance and human development.
Paid work is one of the foundations of substantive equality for women, Rhiwi said, especially when it is compatible with a division of responsibilities between women and men and when it leaves women enough time to have recreation and training, among others.
The project launched today focuses specifically on women workers in the fishing sector, an area where women's economic activity is even more precarious, she noted, adding that cooperatives in this sector activity is not sufficiently profitable and able to provide fisherwomen with a decent and regular income, continued Ms. Rhiwi.
“These needs that we have identified in the project that we are launching today will be reinforced as part of a value chain approach adapted to the context of the intervention areas, ranging from the production of raw materials to the marketing and distribution of finished products, through the processing and upgrading of products, added Ms. Rhiwi.
For her part, the FAO Representative in Morocco, Florence Rolle, said that this is an "excellent action" given that the fishing sector plays a very important role in Morocco, especially for food security.
"Women play a crucial role in the fishing sector but their work is not always recognized", she lamented, adding that the FAO technical agency intervenes in the fisheries and aquaculture sector on capacity building. The Japanese Ambassador to Morocco, Takashi Shinozuka, for his part, indicated that this project is aimed at a category that has been influenced by the repercussions of the health crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that this project aims in particular to strengthen the capacities of women and enable them to have access to modern technologies.
"We are happy to be able to bring one more stone to the construction of the Morocco of tomorrow in accordance with the vision of HM King Mohammed VI", he said. This event, chaired by Ms. Driouich and Ms. Rhiwi, was an opportunity to present the main areas of intervention of the project as well as the modalities of multi-stakeholder strategic partnerships with all stakeholders.