[Watch] IMO Empowers Women Through It’s Gender Program


The IMO has produced a new film to showcase its Women in Maritime program, says an article published in their website.

Turning the tide

A film from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) showing how IMO’s women in Maritime programme is helping to support gender diversity in the maritime sector.

The program, initiated in 1988, supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. 

The program supports the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts, under the slogan Training-Visibility-Recognition, through a wide range of gender-specific activities.

Equality for women : Progress for all

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. Companies with more women leaders perform better. 

Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as:

  • health, 
  • education, 
  • anti-discrimination and 
  • child support. 

The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all. 

Women in maritime 

IMO Member States are encouraged to enable women to train alongside men at maritime academies. 

  • Today, female graduates from IMO’s training institutes, the World Maritime University (WMU) and the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) hold positions of responsibility across the maritime world. 
  • WMU has had more than 1,000 female graduates to date, while IMLI was the first UN body to include a requirement that 50 percent of its places be reserved for women.
  • These associations support women by providing mentoring and networking opportunities, and many are working to promote careers in maritime to younger people.

Cannot afford to ignore women

Studies show that diversity matters, says the IMO. It’s better for teamwork, leadership and for profits. 

Apart from the social imperative to promote diversity in the 21st century, supply and demand in the labor force dictate that the industry simply cannot afford to ignore women, a huge potential workforce.

World Maritime Day 2019

“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. 

Throughout the year, IMO will work with various maritime stakeholders towards achieving the SDGs, particularly SDG 5: 

  • to help create an environment in which women are identified and selected for career development opportunities in maritime administrations,
  •  ports and maritime training institutes and 
  • to encourage more conversation for gender equality in the maritime space.

IMO’s gender specific fellowships

​IMO supports gender equality and the empowerment of women through:

  • gender specific fellowships; 
  • by facilitating access to high-level technical training for women in the maritime sector in developing countries; 
  • by creating an 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 Maritime Associations

IMO has facilitated the creation of professional networks to improve gender balance in the shipping industry.  

Under IMO’s auspices, seven Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs) have been established covering some 152 countries and dependent territories and 490 participants.

Access to these regional maritime associations for women provides members with a platform to discuss a number of issues, not just about gender, but also technical issues. 

Other partners

WISTA International

The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA International) is an international networking organization with a mission is to attract and support women, at the management level, in the maritime, trading and logistics sectors. WISTA was granted consultative status with IMO in 2018. 

Consultative status gives WISTA the opportunity to promote diversity, inclusion and women’s empowerment. 

WISTA’s efforts support the overarching principles in IMO’s Strategic Plan, especially the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. 

It is envisaged that WISTA will play an important role helping IMO reach out to women in the maritime industry.

WISTA is a strategic partner to the GEF-UNDP-IMO major project on ‘Building Partnerships to Assist Developing Countries Minimize the Impacts from Aquatic Biofouling’, also known as ‘GloFouling Partnerships’.

This partnership will help bring female experts, including marine scientists, to biofouling conferences and other project activities.

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Source: IMO


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