Port Wings News Network:
The World Maritime University (WMU) has released the Conference Report for the WMU Third International Women’s Conference on Empowering Women in the Maritime Community that was held in April this year. The conference brought maritime and ocean stakeholders together at WMU to discuss the common challenge of gender equality and to address the gender gap in the maritime, oceans, ports, fishing and related industries.
As a result of the two-day event, over 350 participants from more than 70 countries adopted conclusions identifying 17 actions that could be taken to advance gender balance in the maritime and oceans sectors. The conclusions serve as best practice guidance for all stakeholders committed to action focused on increasing gender balance across maritime and ocean industries. In addition to the conclusions, the Conference Report summarizes the most significant outcomes of the Conference by session and speaker.
At the World Maritime Day Parallel Event in Colombia, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU, announced the release of the Report, highlighting key elements among the conclusions including the importance of: Implementing gender-responsive policies; Updating data and statistics on women professionals in all sea-related activities; Promoting role models; Engaging with children in primary and secondary education to raise awareness of career opportunities in the industry; Establishing mentoring programmes; Securing priority funding for gender research; Emphasizing gender equality as a business case; and last but not least; and Ensuring equal employment opportunities and equal pay for work of equal value.
Regarding the report, President Doumbia-Henry said, “With this year’s World Maritime Day Theme of Empowering Women in the Maritime Community, the sun is shining on women for 365 days in 2019. We must keep that momentum going well beyond 2019 if we are to make a real impact in achieving gender equality in the maritime and oceans professions. It is with great pride that WMU puts forward this impactful report that includes 17 actions. If we each adopt and implement at least one of these actions in the long term, together we will contribute to the sustainable development of a gender sensitive maritime sector that will result in a better and more prosperous future for us all.”
Since the University was founded in 1983, WMU has been striving for improving gender balance in maritime and ocean-related fields in higher education and research. Female student representation at WMU has improved significantly from 3% in 1983 to 34% in 2019 in the MSc programme in Maritime Affairs delivered in Malmö, Sweden, and the Class of 2019 in the WMU MSc in International Transport & Logistics programme delivered in Shanghai, China, achieved gender parity.