International Women’s Day 2022
March 8 is annually recognized as International Women's Day (IWD). Through its well established education, capacity building and research agenda, and recognizing that all the goals are interrelated and indivisible, the World Maritime University (WMU) is committed to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, particularly Goal 5 focused on Gender Equality. The gender gap in the maritime and ocean industry remains significant. Women account for about 2 per cent of the total seafaring population, and the latest Global Ocean Science Report (GOSR) 2020 revealed that women continue to be underrepresented in ocean science, particularly in the highly technical categories.
In honour of IWD, the WMU Women’s Association (WMUWA) hosted a seminar for students on 4 March under the 2022 IWD theme of “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. Participants were asked to dress in green in support of the sustainability theme. Opening remarks were delivered by Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President. She highlighted the importance of recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. “Empowering women and girls to have a voice and be equal players in decision-making related to climate change and sustainability is key for sustainable development. A sustainable future cannot be reached without greater steps to achieve gender equality,” said President Doumbia-Henry.
Ms Clàudia Barahona-Fuentes, Facultat de Nàutica de Barcelona, was the keynote speaker via video link for the seminar, addressing the topic of analyzing female student figures in Maritime Education and Training (MET) institutions through looking at the evolution of women in MET institutions over a decade. She noted the steady increase in the proportion of women earning technical degrees, but that the number of female students enrolled in MET remains limited. Conclusions of the research included that gender mainstreaming should be incorporated in the curricula of maritime studies. In addition, promotion of maritime studies among prospective female students should begin at early stages of education. The seminar closed with several women in the Class of 2022 sharing their personal stories and perspectives on the IWD theme.
The WMUWA annually hosts a seminar for IWD. The objectives of the WMUWA are to connect, educate and inspire women in the maritime industry and to promote the interests of female maritime professionals through the creation of an international network for women from the WMU and women involved in other internationally recognized female associations in the maritime sector.
The Next Generation of Maritime Leaders Webinar
WMU is also contributing to the International Women’s Day webinar organized by the International Maritime Organization, Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) and Maritime SheEO to announce the launch of the Maritime SheEO Leadership Accelerator Programme 2022. WMU Associate Professor, Dr Momoko Kitada, will participate as the moderator for the webinar.
About International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is annually recognized on 8 March, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. IWD has been observed since the early 1900s and was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975. The International Women's Day (IWD) 2022 IWD theme of “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.
The pandemic crisis has highlighted the centrality of women's contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry. To uphold women's rights and fully leverage the potential of women's leadership in pandemic preparedness and response, the perspectives of women, in all of their diversity, must be integrated in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes in all spheres and at all stages of the pandemic response and recovery.
A key empowerment tool for women in leadership is education. The COVID-19 crisis has impacted women's opportunities to access the education and training required to build paths towards leadership roles. The World Maritime University is committed to work with our partners and donors to continue promoting the empowerment of women through our research and education programmes.