Like many other parts of the world, fisher families in the Western Bay of Bengal (WBOB ) region also play a crucial role in shaping harvesting decisions and effort level, as well as building the human capital necessary for developing alternative skills to move outside the fisheries sector. For example, the awareness levels of women on safety at sea influence the preparedness of the men when going fishing, as well as during emergencies. An important step towards ensuring family sustainability is to recognize the role of fisherwomen in the family. Apart from the technological barriers mentioned above, fisher families share a host of sociocultural barriers with rest of society in the region. Therefore, the task is quite challenging. However, designing institutions and workplaces in a women-friendly way could be the first step towards empowerment. The role of women in decision-making can also be boosted through a better safety-at-sea regime in which women participate in trip planning and preparation. In fisheries management, there is a steady movement towards inclusive decision-making processes with greater community participation. Although, in practice, fisheries in the region are still managed through a top-down approach, with increasing community participation and feedback, more enabling policies are now being formed. Paper published in ‘Family Future’, Tudor Rose Publication, 2014.