From 4-5 April, over 350 participants from more than 70 countries around the globe gathered at the World Maritime University (WMU) to address the gender gap in the maritime, oceans, ports, fishing and related industries.

A set of conclusions was the result of the two-day discussions reflecting the participants’ firm commitment to cooperate, coordinate and collaborate in the development and implementation of gender-responsive policies and related programmes in their respective sectors and areas of responsibility.

The conclusions have been developed to serve as best practice guidance for all stakeholders committed to action focused on increasing gender balance across maritime and ocean industries.

We all have a part to play in achieving Goal 5 that is focused on gender equality. If we each choose at least one action to implement from the list of conclusions, we will be well on our way to affecting real change and progress towards achieving gender parity in the maritime and ocean fields,

...stated Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU.

The key points of the conclusions included:

  • implementing gender-responsive policies
  • updating data and statistics on women professionals in all sea-related activities
  • promoting role models
  • engaging with children in primary and secondary education to raise awareness of career opportunities in the industry
  • establishing mentoring programmes
  • securing priority funding for gender research
  • emphasizing gender equality as a business case
  • ensuring equal employment opportunities and equal pay for work of equal value

According to WMU, six critical actions now should be given priority:

  1. A new study should be undertaken without delay that would provide the most up to date information and data on the number of women in maritime and oceans fields across all sectors and the positions they occupy.
  2. Affirmative action in capacity building should be taken to support Gender Empowerment for the Decade of Ocean Science.
  3. A network platform should be established to address gender empowerment, learning and sharing best practice in a knowledge hub and build support.
  4. A solid engagement of all stakeholders should be put in place in consultation with women and minorities.
  5. Education and training initiatives and partnerships should be pursued that promote gender rights and equality in the maritime and ocean communities.
  6. Enhanced collaborative opportunities to work together should be actively pursued to support the effective implementation of UN SDG Goal 5 (Gender) and Goal 14 (Oceans).