WSI aims at promoting women's contribution to the seafood industry and this will be the very first time that a women's association has a stand at a fishing industry trade.
“The choice for launching the association in Iceland is two-fold: its fishing industry is very dynamic and the country is at the forefront when it comes to gender equality,” said WSI co-founder Marie Christine Montfort, commenting that the decision to take a stand at IceFish is to highlight the fact that women are essential workers in the seafood industry but are often invisible and overlooked by decision makers - and IceFish is the ideal opportunity for a first public appearance.
She commented that although one in every two seafood workers is a woman, women are over-represented in the lowest paid and lowest valued positions and very few at leadership positions. Women are essential contributors to this important food industry, but they remain invisible, including to policy makers.
“Stories about women in the seafood industry are rarely told. There is a need to increase awareness about women's role in this industry and to recognise the value they bring,” she said.
“While we acknowledge that much progress has been achieved, a lot remains to be done in terms of highlighting women's contribution to the seafood industry, raising awareness of gender issues amongst public and private stakeholders and promoting professional equality between men and women in the industry. These are the challenges that WSI has decided to take up”.