On the occasion of the event, information was provided on the strategic approach IMO has taken towards enhancing the contribution of women as key stakeholders over the last 31 years.

Within the framework of maritime development, and through its Women in Maritime programme, under the slogan "Training-Visibility-Recognition", IMO has taken a strategic approach towards enhancing the contribution of women as key maritime stakeholders.

IMO's gender programme was initiated in 1988, when only a few maritime training institutes opened their doors to female students. Since then, IMO's gender and capacity-building programme has helped put in place an institutional framework to incorporate a gender dimension into IMO's policies and procedures.

The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also shed focus on gender equality under the 5th of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls". Some 2% of the world's 1.2 million seafarers are women.

In this regard, "Empowering Women in the Maritime Community" has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2019. This provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with the SDGs, and to highlight the important contribution of women all over the world to the maritime sector.

There is ample evidence that investing in women is the most effective way to lift communities, companies, and even countries. Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Peace agreements that include women are more durable,

..IMO noted.

The event was organized by Rotary International.