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Secretary-General Kitack Lim’s message on maiden edition of International Day for Women in Maritime

Gender equality is recognized as a key platform for a sustainable future. It is enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goal 5 – one of the 17 goals that underpin the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda, which countries all over the world have pledged to implement.

For more than three decades, IMO has been supporting gender equality through our women in maritime programme, seeking to empower women in the sector through training, visibility and recognition.

To provide an opportunity to highlight and celebrate women in maritime, during last December’s Assembly, IMO Member States designated 18 May each year, to acknowledge and pay tribute to the accomplishments of maritime women.

Additionally, the observance will promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector and support work to address the current gender imbalance in maritime.

On this inaugural International Day for Women in Maritime, let’s take this opportunity to celebrate the many women who are contributing to the future of maritime: navigators, engineers, surveyors, CEO’s, managers, representatives of government and industry, those chairing IMO organ meetings and women in every other role across the industry.

Women are working in all facets of the maritime sector across the globe to support the transition to a decarbonized, digitalized and more sustainable future for the industry.

There is still a gender imbalance in maritime – but times are changing as it becomes recognized that diversity in maritime benefits the entire sector.

Today, maritime is for everyone. As I have emphasized previously, it is not about your gender – it is about what you can do.

At IMO through training, visibility, recognition we aim to – support a barrier-free working environment for Women in Maritime.

Let’s work to break down barriers and ensure that we create a work environment that is enabling, supportive and inclusive of diverse participation by all, without hindrance in the maritime community.

I wish you all a happy “International Day for Women in Maritime”!


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