International Women’s Day is being celebrated across the United Nations system and the world. This year’s theme is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
In a statement to mark the day, the Secretary-General of IMO, Mr. Kitack Lim, noted the relevance of this theme for the IMO family: “Shipping is going through a transformation, tackling climate change through decarbonization and undergoing digitalization and automation at a rapid rate,” he said.
Mr Lim went on: “This transformation needs the best talent – and that means embracing diversity and ensuring that any barriers to participation are broken down. In maritime and across all sectors, working environments must be enabling, supportive and inclusive of diverse participation by all, without hindrance.”
The Secretary-General reaffirmed IMO’s commitment to the UN’s sustainability agenda, particularly Goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, and he highlighted the contribution of IMO’s Women in Maritime Programme in promoting women’s participation in the maritime industry.
“Throughout the year, every day, we must continue the fight for gender equality”, Mr. Lim said.
To mark International Women’s Day, IMO staff were invited to join, in person at IMO Headquarters and virtually, an audience with renowned journalist and author, Mary Ann Sieghart, writer of The Authority Gap: Why women are still taken less seriously than men, and what we can do about it.
In conversation with Mrs. Azara Prempeh, Director, Administrative Division/Chief of Staff, she explored the theme, “Narrowing the Gender Equality Gap in One Generation – Global Challenge and Global Responsibility”. The discussion was followed by questions to Ms. Sieghart from the audience.
Other ways IMO works to boost women’s representation in the maritime sector include its annual International Day for Women in Maritime, marked each year on 18 May. This year’s Day will include a conference on the theme of “Mobilizing networks for gender equality”.
The IMO Council has recently established a Gender Equality Award to recognise those who, irrespective of their gender, have advanced women’s empowerment and equality in the maritime sector.
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