As a marine ecologist who has long worked at the intersection of gender equality, conservation and fisheries, Sangeeta Mangubhai knows the importance of getting the language right. She asks to see a draft of this article, anxious that words like “gender,” “empowering” and “fishers” are often used incorrectly. “Gender means both men and women, and the relationships and power dynamics etc. between them,” Mangubhai told Mongabay in a recent video interview from Fiji, where she is director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Fiji country program. “It’s quite problematic when people think it’s just about women.” This is a misunderstanding she frequently came across while carrying out research for her new study. Co-authored by Sarah Lawless from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Australia, the report is based on interviews with fisheries managers and practitioners working in the Pacific countries of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. One government respondent from the Solomon Islands, quoted in the report, spoke for many when he said, “We don’t really understand what gender is. Particularly the technical side of this so that we can apply to our work with communities and [have it] guide us.” Of the approaches to gender inclusion that were identified, 76.2% were assessed as designed to “reach” women, with very few that “benefited,” “empowered” or “transformed” — for example, by fostering working partnerships between men and women, or changing the attitudes and behaviors of men. Instead, most involved “community consultation practice” — usually…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer