More than 30 years after the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), discrimination on the basis of gender and its consequences for society is still struggling for mainstream attention especially in aquaculture and fisheries. FAO's 2010/11 flagship report on the State of Food and Agriculture highlighted the gender gap in agriculture and estimated that raising women's farm productivity by 20-30% could lift 100-150 million people out of poverty. Held as part of the 9th Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum at Shanghai Ocean University from 21 to 23 April 2011, the 3rd Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF3) of the Asian Fisheries Society shone a light on the gender gap in the fish sector. This, the Society's fifth women/gender symposium, attracted a record number of papers and stimulated lively discussions. It was followed by a FAO Special Workshop on Future Directions for Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Action, Research and Development which will be reported on separately.