IN the run up to International Women’s Day, the IMO has placed extra emphasis on its Women in Maritime program and its mission to achieve gender equality and empower women to take up positions in the maritime industry.

The goal of IMO’s Women in Maritime program is to encourage countries to allow women easier access to their maritime institutes so they may gain a high-level competence in maritime industry qualifications and train alongside men.

IMO program lead Helen Buni said, “The IMO Women in Maritime program supports the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts under the slogan ‘Training-Visibility-Recognition’…”

For more than 30 years, the IMO has extended this support to some 500 participants with the establishment of maritime regional associations across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and Pacific Islands.

The program offers maritime women fellowships for high-level technical training in developing countries.

One example of the success of IMO’s outreach to women is the long-running “Women in Port Management” course in Le Havre, France, which has trained 308 women with the partnership of the Port Institute for Education and Research and Le Havre Port Authority.

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IMO also works with maritime women in their respective authorities to facilitate career development in maritime administrations, ports and training institutes.

This year is set to provide multiple conferences, courses, workshops and regional meetings to support women in maritime, as “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” is the IMO’s World Maritime Day theme for 2019.

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