World Maritime Day: Empowering Women
September 26 is World Maritime Day, and it is being celebrated this year under the theme "Empowering Women in the Maritime Community."
"Gender equality has been recognized as one of the key platforms on which people can build a sustainable future. It is one of the 17 goals that underpin the UN's Sustainable Development Agenda, which countries all over the world have pledged to implement," said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
"Helping our Member States achieve the SDGs and deliver the 2030 Agenda is one of our key strategic directions. Gender equality and decent work for all are among those goals - SDGs 5 and 8- and, although we are highlighting the role of women in the maritime community this year, I want to stress that this is part of a continuing, long-term effort in support of these objectives," Lim said.
This year, IMO is inviting the entire maritime world to highlight and showcase their commitment to empowering women and to supporting SDG 5 on gender equality by posting photos, stories and messages of support on social media, using the hashtags, #WorldMaritimeDay and #WomeninMaritime.
The IMO's Women in Maritime program will continue to support the empowerment of women in the maritime sector in years to come, through gender specific fellowships; by facilitating access to high-level technical training for women in the maritime sector in developing countries; by creating the environment in which women are identified and selected for career development opportunities in maritime administrations, ports and maritime training institutes; and by facilitating the establishment of professional women in maritime associations, particularly in developing countries.
"Women in the maritime world today are strong, powerful and constantly challenging old-fashioned perceptions. Experience tells us that diversity is better; it's better for teamwork, better for leadership - and better for commercial performance. The maritime world is changing. And for the better. With help from IMO, and other organizations, exciting and rewarding career opportunities are opening up for women. And a new generation of strong and talented women are responding. They are proving that in today's world the maritime industries are for everyone. It's not about your gender, it's about what you can do," Lim said.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is supporting the day with the production of this video:
The ICS has a long-standing commitment to developing women in the shipping industry. In 2016 it endeavoured to collect for the first time in the industry definitive information on women seafarers in the shipping community. The latest ICS BIMCO Manpower Report predicts an increase in the number of women seafarers in coming years. It estimates that at the time of publication there were around 16,500 women seafarers forming part of the global supply of seafarers. It is equally positive that the largest percentage of women seafarers in the sample were in the process of training to be officers.
The Secretary-General of ICS, Guy Platten, said: “Our industry needs to attract the very best talent and we must use all means to encourage a more diverse workforce.”