WMU Contributes to Regional Conference for Pacific Women in Maritime
From 11-15 April, the Regional Conference for Pacific Women in Maritime was held in Tonga. The Conference, jointly organized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Secretariat of Pacific Community (SPC), was hosted by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Kingdom of Tonga with the support of the Government of New Zealand.
In total, 62 participants from 14 countries attended the conference, during which the Pacific Women in Maritime Association (PacWiMA) welcomed a new Executive Committee.
Representing WMU and the WMU Women’s Association (WMUWA), Associate Professor Momoko Kitada made presentations on two topics; 'energy and gender' and 'MLC 2006 and women seafarers'. Dr. Kitada presented WMU’s programmes and the efforts of the University to promote women in maritime professions. Opportunities at WMU were also emphasized by Mr. Nicolaos Charalambous, Director, and Mrs. Pamela Tansey, Senior Deputy Director, Technical Cooperation Division of IMO.
WMU has made significant efforts to promote women in maritime professions. Until the late 1990s, female students made up less than 5% of the Malmö intake. A recruitment strategy with strong support from fellowship donors has resulted in the proportion of female students rising to around a third of the annual intake. Further, in 2008 WMU hosted a conference focused on empowering maritime women and built on that effort in 2014 with the Maritime Women: Global Leadership International Conference, co-hosted by IMO, that brought together 265 women and men from 74 countries. The event inspired the Class of 2014 to establish the WMUWA that aims to support the advancement of female maritime professionals worldwide.
Going forward, WMU has committed to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Through education, WMU will contribute to the elimination of discrimination against women and further the equality and empowerment of women to ensure their full and effective participation with equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life. The University has also partnered with IMO on the Global Strategy for Women Seafarers: Resourcing the Maritime Sector, a project which aims to produce a clear and instructive strategy and reference tool for all maritime stakeholders.