WMU and MTS Host Town Hall at OCEANS Limerick 2023

On 8 June, the World Maritime University (WMU) - Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, in collaboration with Marine Technology Society (MTS), hosted a lunch and panel on Women and the Ocean Decade at the OCEANS Limerick 2023 conference. The session presented the research carried out by the Empowering Women for the Ocean Decade Programme and included  practical actions for gender equality and empowerment of women in ocean sciences.

Ms Liesl Hotaling, who leads the MTS Women Leadership in Marine Technology and Science, opened the session with an interactive polling of the attendees on the topic of gender bias. A panel discussion followed and was moderated by Professor Ronán Long, Director of the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute. Panelists included Ms Fiona Grant from the Marine Institute Ireland, who introduced the Women in Blue Economy - Intelligence Gathering and Capacity Boosting programme, and Dr Mariamalia Rodriguez Chaves, WMU Post-doc Fellow, who presented the achievements of the Empowering Women for the Ocean Decade Programme and the development of a Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan for Ocean-Related International Institutions. Ms Catherine Hogan, Executive Director of Oceans Advance, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Ocean Technology Cluster organization also presented on the collaboration and implementation of a National Action Plan: Inclusion and Diversity in the Blue Economy in Canada. WMU PhD candidates, Ms Ellen Johannesen and Ms Renis Auma Ojwala, closed the panel presentations with findings of their respective research projects.  

An interactive session followed with input from participants on key questions including: What role can data play in helping us to understand ongoing inequality between genders?; “What makes an effective gender equality policy? The concept of intersectionality, diversity, equity and inclusiveness”, and “What can we do to empower women to support the Ocean Decade?” Lively debate that followed emphasized the need to conduct baseline studies to understand the status quo of women’s representation, the need to provide opportunities for women to study and participate in research, and the need to include all genders in this debate to raise awareness and have strong bonds that elevate all involved in Ocean Sciences.

To learn more about future engagement activities with the Empowering Women Forum, please follow the links below:

About the DFO-WMU Empowering Women for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Programme

The purpose of the Empowering Women Programme is to advance an alternative, inclusive model for the sustainable governance of ocean spaces and maritime activities that duly takes into account the need to ensure effective gender equality and the empowerment of women at all levels in order to ensure the sustainable management of the global ocean. The Programme is endorsed by IOC-UNESCO as a Decade Action and will play a central role in supporting the Ocean Decade mission to catalyze transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development. The Empowering Women for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Programme is generously funded by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) with additional support from The Nippon Foundation. 

About the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute

The vision of the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute is to act as an independent focal point for the ocean science-policy-law-industry-society interface where policy makers, the scientific community, regulators, industry actors, academics, and representatives of civil society meet to discuss how best to manage and use ocean spaces and their resources in accordance with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Institute was inaugurated in May 2018 and made possible through generous support from The Nippon Foundation of Japan, the Governments of Sweden, Canada, and Germany, as well as the City of Malmö. 

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