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12° Nicosia,
21 April, 2024
 

New award recognizes leaders advancing gender equality in maritime sector

Council of Ministers establishes honors to acknowledge industry executives' contributions and promote inclusivity

Andreas Karamitas

The Council of Ministers, responding to a proposal by Deputy Minister of Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis, established an award today to recognize industry executives whose actions fortify efforts to advance gender equality within the shipping sector. In a press release issued today, the Deputy Ministry of Shipping emphasized that the award's primary objective is to spotlight the vital role women play in the maritime sector, challenging the prevailing notion of male dominance. The statement further articulates that the award seeks to endorse and implement policies fostering a work environment where women are regarded as equals, enjoying equal rights and opportunities with their male counterparts in similar positions.

The Deputy Ministry of Shipping believes the award's establishment will be a crucial tool in achieving these objectives, fully aligning with the policies advocated by the International Maritime Organization and the Office of the Gender Equality Commissioner. The Ministry maintains close cooperation with these entities in implementing its objectives.

...women represented only 1.2% of the global seafarer workforce in 2021.

WISTA Cyprus also extends a welcome to this development. In an exclusive statement to "K," Natalia Bury Loyal, President of WISTA Cyprus, an organization dedicated to women's rights in the maritime industry, expressed that the award underscores the Deputy Ministry of Shipping's commitment to promoting equal opportunities within the maritime sector. Ms. Bury Loyal concluded that recognizing and rewarding good practices and contributions toward equality and diversity is vital for the widespread adoption and integration of these values into the shipping culture.

Addressing gender equality on the international stage, the International Maritime Organization and various organizations actively support and strengthen policies ensuring the inclusion and visibility of women in the male-dominated industry. According to the BIMCO report by the International Chamber of Shipping, women represented only 1.2% of the global seafarer workforce in 2021. The report also reveals a 45.8% increase in the number of women working as seafarers from 2015 to 2021. The IMO consistently works to propel the industry forward and supports global efforts to increase the proportion of women in the international shipping scene. Moreover, the organization has a strategic approach to enhancing women's contributions to shipping and strongly backs UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 for 2030, aiming to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." Notably, Women in Shipping Day is commemorated on May 18 every year.

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