There has been a decrease in total fish production especially in Kisumu County and consequently a decline in socio-economic benefits derived from the lake and the Nyando River wetlands. The Department of fisheries introduced Beach Management Units (BMU) in 2004 in an effort to deal with the problem. The study focuses on the role played by women in fisheries sector in the county, in the Nyando River Wetlands. The study was conducted in 4 landing beaches. Primary data was collected using Focus group discussions, key informant interviews, field observations and a household survey. Secondary data were gathered from government reports and various other sources. Descriptive statistics were used to understand the socio-economic characteristics of fisher folks who utilize the Nyando River Wetlands. Overall family size mean was 6 members and 63% of the respondents were female, while the age of the respondents varied from16 years to 75 years, with a mean of 40 years. The study found that beach leadership is dominated by men. It was also found that fishing is traditionally a male dominated occupation, but increasing economic difficulties have resulted in many women turning to fishing to earn some income. The involvement of women in fishing varies from one location to the next. During the study, it was revealed that the BMUs has promoted the role of women by ensuring that they hold equal rights in membership to men and that they have at least 30% of the seats on the BMU Committee. This means that women could work together with the men at the beaches, thus assisting in the management of fisheries resources.
Keywords: Beach Management Units, Wetlands, Fishers, Women.