The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council, meeting from November 8-12, established an International Day for Women in Maritime, to be observed on May 18 every year.
Once adopted by the IMO Assembly in December 2021, the observance will celebrate women in the industry, promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector, raise the profile of women in maritime, strengthen IMO's commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality) and support work to address the current gender imbalance in maritime.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, "I welcome the Council's adoption of this proposal. Not only does it further efforts to achieve SDG 5 on gender equality, but it is a perfect follow-on action to the IMO Assembly's resolution and call to achieve a barrier-free environment for women, so that all women can participate fully, safely and without hindrance in the activities of the maritime community, including seafaring and shipbuilding."
The proposal to establish an International Day for Women in Maritime was first addressed by IMO's Technical Cooperation Committee (TCC) in September 2021 following the momentum of the World Maritime Theme in 2019 "Empowering women in the maritime community." The proposal received wide support from the Committee in forwarding the proposal to the Council.