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Ocean Women

LOCAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Project description

Ocean Women is a project launched in 2022 by Manta Trust to improve recreational access and connection to the ocean for women and girls worldwide. In many tropical coastal communities with large ocean areas women and girls do not swim, snorkel or engage with the ocean as much as men and boys do – two-thirds of women worldwide cannot swim. Reported reasons include fear, societal stigmas, aesthetic ideals, lack of role models, equipment, or access to safe spaces, and gender norms.

The project present in 20 countries involves working with local communities, organizations, universities and students to:

  • Fully understand gender inequality in recreational ocean access.
  • Share the experiences of tropical coastal communities and initiatives already underway 
  • Create and widely disseminate an "Ocean Access Strategy" helping communities and organizations around the world identify, test, and implement solutions that could work for their localities, 
  • Develop training programs to improve ocean access.

The first training program was implemented in the Maldives with the goal of training 10 SSI swimming and snorkeling instructors. These instructors will then be helped to permanently establish swimming and snorkeling classes and clubs on their respective islands. Children and women will learn to swim and snorkel in order to observe the coral reefs and megafauna for which the Maldives is famous. Positive impacts of women's access to the ocean for recreational purposes include:

  • Increased inclusion of women in conservation.
  • Growth of bottom-up conservation initiatives.
  • Improved gender equality in regions where it is critical.
  • Improved livelihood opportunities in ecotourism and small-scale fisheries.
  • Poverty alleviation in some of the world's lowest income regions.

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda

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