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The United Nations (UN), via the International Maritime Organization (IMO), created World Maritime Day to celebrate the international maritime industry’s contribution towards the world’s economy, especially in shipping. The event’s date varies by year and country, but it is always to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of September.
2019 Theme: Empowering women in the maritime community
This year’s theme provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to highlight the important – yet under-utilized – contribution of women within the maritime sector.
It also allows stakeholders the opportunity to work towards achieving the SDGs, particularly SDG 5, to foster 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.
Empowering women fuels thriving economies across the world, spurs growth and development and benefits everyone working in the global maritime community in the drive towards safe, secure, clean and sustainable shipping.
Parallel Event 2019 – Colombia
The International Maritime Organization confer the privilege to a country to host the Parallel Event to World Maritime Day. Therefore, on September 15-17 2019 – Cartagena, Colombia will host the Parallel Event, which aims to provide an opportunity for the IMO Member States and the different representatives of the sector to promote work on maritime safety, marine environment protection and facilitation of international maritime transport, as indisputable elements for the proper development of maritime trade.
“IMO has a strong commitment to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and continues to support the participation of women in both shore-based and seagoing posts, in line with the goals outlined under SDG 5: 'Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls',” -- IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim
Back in 1988, few maritime institutes opened their doors to female students. IMO was in the vanguard of United Nations’ specialized agencies that forged a global program known as the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector. Carried out over several phases, it put in place as institutional framework to incorporate a gender dimension into IMO’s policies and procedures, with resolutions adopted to ensure access to maritime training and employment opportunities for women in the maritime sector.
Female graduates of IMO’s global training institutes, the World Maritime University (WMU) and the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) are today working as maritime administrators and decision makers. They have a positive impact as role models in encouraging new female recruits. IMO also supports 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.
Here are the series of activities and events that have been and will be held in 2019 related to the theme “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”.
Member Governments and international organizations are encouraged to organize events throughout the year to highlight the World Maritime Day theme.