“When we hear the terms fishing and/or coastal resource management (CRM), generally we think of it as a man’s thing because our cultural orientation tells us that men ought to be the earners and the women, home makers.”, says Maria Venidez Gamale, project coordinator of Communities Learning to Stop Abuse and Nurture Social Empowerment (CLEANSE) Project. This is why it was only natural, considering CCEF’s scope of concern, that this manual to mainstream gender concerns into coastal resource management was developed.
With their many years of experience in implementing coastal resource management, CCEF embarked on the CLEANSE project as a call to action towards reducing cases of violence against women and children (VAWC) in Cebu City and Cebu Province. They did this by enhancing the implementation and monitoring of local and national laws against women and children primarily through citizen’s participation. With this project, CCEF took on the challenge of integrating it’s advocacy of marine conservation and gender issues. This attempt at incorporating two seemingly different ideas was nothing new to CCEF since it has implemented similar projects, such as the Integrated Population and Coastal Resource Management (I-POPCORM) project in the islands of Olango, Cebu in 2003 and the Private Sector Mobilization (PRISM) program, “Building Responsible Families Towards Enhanced Productivity in the Workplace: Institutionalizing a Family Welfare Program in the Mactan Economic Zone” in 2007.
As an official end to the two-year project, CCEF, and the consortium of NGOs, published “A Sourcebook on Mainstreaming Gender Into Coastal Resources Management in the Philippines”. In its continuing effort to promote sustainable coastal management with the full participation of communities that are largely marine resource-dependent, CCEF acknowledges that equitable resource use, access, and rights are key to achieving sustainable development and social empowerment.
Thus the creation of this module that identifies the need to mainstream gender awareness in local governance and coastal resource management to fully address the intractable challenge of ensuring participation especially of the less recognized segments of Philippine society – women. It is with great hope that this module can help local government units and CRM practitioners to ﬁnd the opportunities to integrate gender concerns into their own existing coastal management programs. The module was written with the intention of providing guidance to local government implementers and assisting NGOs and POs in addressing the gaps in the CRM process that allow gender biases to remain.
Not wanting to let these issues to fall into the cracks of our system of local governance for coastal management, the authors have written down various strategies to address this prevailing issue on gender representation and equality especially in key policy-making processes inherent in CRM. It is our dream that this module will be extremely useful to other project implementers and will help us all break the barriers that curtail participation of civil society, including women and children, in the coastal management process.
Anna Helen Yap