“Training-Visibility-Recognition: Supporting a barrier-free working environment” is the theme of the first International Day for Women in Maritime with the aim to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women in maritime and achieve gender balance. IMO is marking the occasion with a virtual symposium, the release of a women in maritime report and a social media campaign.
On the occasion, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said that although there is still a gender imbalance in maritime, times are changing. While significant progress has been made so far and there is much to celebrate, there is also the need for more progress to be made.
It is recognized that diversity in maritime benefits the entire sector. Women in maritime are working everywhere to support the transition to a decarbonized, digitalized and more sustainable future. Let’s take this opportunity to celebrate the many women who are contributing to the future of maritime: maintaining an engine on a ship, running a company, drawing up a contract, surveying a vessel, or chairing an IMO committee meeting
Amid a constantly increasing discussion on the importance of gender diversity and inclusion across all sectors, #BreakTheBias was the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day in March.
On May 18, IMO launched the inaugural IMO-WISTA International (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association Limited) survey results. The report contains information about the proportion and distribution of women working in the maritime sector, based on information provided by IMO Member States and the maritime industry. The survey uses data from IMO Member States and the maritime industry to benchmark the current gender balance of the maritime workforce and indicate areas of success and those where more progress is needed.
Supporting SDG 5 on gender equality
Gender equality is key to mitigating climate change and building a sustainable future. UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 concerns gender equality with the aim to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. In that regard, a SAFETY4SEA special column, dedicated to women in the maritime industry, asked them to provide feedback on how to achieve the UN SDG #5 and empower women.
IMO is working to address the current gender imbalance in maritime and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality. IMO has a longstanding Women in Maritime programme.
- In 2019, the World Maritime theme was “Empowering women in the maritime community”, with numerous activities promoting gender equality in maritime.
- At the end of 2019, IMO Member States at the IMO Assembly adopted a resolution pledging to ensure the legacy of 2019 would continue.
- In 2021, the IMO Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming an International Day for Women in Maritime on 18 May each year. The day celebrates women in the industry and is intended to promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector and raise the profile of women in maritime.
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