IMO has selected “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” as the World Maritime Day theme for 2019. The organization´s aim is to raise awareness within the sector on the importance of gender equality and to promote and highlight the contribution of women in the maritime industry. This IMO initiative goes in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG5 ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’.

This theme will give IMO the opportunity to work with various maritime stakeholders 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,” Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General, said.

ETA welcomes the selection of 2019 World Maritime Day theme as it firmly believes in the need to achieve gender equality in the maritime sector. “Women still represent a small fraction of workers onshore and onboard in the transport community, and this unequal situation is even more visible in the maritime industry. Long established stereotypes, lack of visibility and no female-friendly labour conditions prevent women from considering a career in the shipping sector”, affirms Anna Maria Darmanin ETA Secretary General.

ETA endorses this positive initiative, not only because it is ethically fair but also necessary from an economic point of view. The maritime industry is suffering a skills shortage and stereotypes should not impede women to pursue a career in the sector. The women working for ETA members can be considered as a model of success; highlighting their example, and the essential role of the many women working in the maritime industry would encourage many girls to envisage a career in the industry”, Anna Maria Darmanin continued.

ETA is committed to work for gender equality and women´s empowerment, in fact, the Association was among the first signatories of the Declaration on equal opportunities for women and men in the transport sector and is part of the EC sponsored Women in Transport Platform. Moreover, ETA invites its members and partners to attend Women in Transport 1st Anniversary Conference organized by the Platform in Brussels on the 27th of November.

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