Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
It was announced on 8 February that IMO has launched a new logo for its Women in Maritime programme, as part of its mission to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Programme lead Helen Buni said: ‘The IMO Women in Maritime programme supports the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts, under the slogan Training-Visibility-Recognition’, through a wide range of gender-specific activities. The new logo is just one visible part of the programme and will help women in maritime gain more visibility and exposure throughout the maritime sector and beyond.’
Primary objective of the IMO Women in Maritime programme is to encourage IMO Member States to open the doors of their maritime institutes to enable women to train alongside men and acquire the high-level of competence that the maritime industry demands.
Since the programme was established 31 years ago, its portfolio of activities has grown extensively. IMO has facilitated the establishment of seven regional associations for women in the maritime sector across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands, some 152 countries and dependent territories and 490 participants.
Access to high-level training
IMO’s programme provides gender-specific fellowships, giving access to high-level technical training for women in the maritime sector in developing countries. A good example is the long-running Women in Port Management course, hosted in Le Havre, France, in partnership with the Port Institute for Education and Research (IPER) and the Le Havre Port Authority, where, in 2018, 48 women from 32 countries received training on port management. A total of 308 women have received training under this activity alone.
At IMO’s World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden, the proportion of women graduates has increased steadily over the years. The number of female graduates has increased steadily over the years – from 4 in 1985 to 79 in 2018. By the end of the academic year 2017-2018, 1,029 females had graduated from the University, out of a total 4,919 graduates.
In Malta, at IMO’s International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), 361 women had graduated by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, out of a total of 837 graduates.
IMO also facilitates the identification and selection of women by their respective authorities for career development opportunities in maritime administrations, ports and maritime training institutes.
Activities this year
During 2019, some ten activities are planned under the umbrella of the IMO Women in Maritime programme, including conferences, courses, workshops and regional meetings.
Ms Buni concluded by saying: ‘We are inviting IMO Member States and particularly the regional associations for women in the maritime sector to use the new logo as they see fit, to show that they are part of a strong, global IMO Women in Maritime family’.
Launch of the new logo for the Women in Maritime programme comes as IMO focuses on women in maritime during 2019, under the World Maritime Day theme: Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.
The Women in Maritime programme is largely funded through IMO’s Technical Cooperation fund, with a great deal of in-kind and financial support from a number of donors. IMO continues to seek new sources of funding in order to support the programme into the future.
IMO’s Women in Maritime programme was formerly known as the programme for the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector (IWMS).
More women are joining the maritime ranks in a variety of professions within the industry. To encourage this trend, IMO supported a training course aimed at female officials from maritime and port authorities. (See illustration here kindly provided by kind courtesy of IMO © along with valuable background material in a media briefing).
A total of 25 women from 17 developing countries took part in the two-week Women in Port Management course, hosted in Le Havre, France from 24 June to 5 July.
This course covered lectures on port management, port security, the marine environment, facilitation of maritime traffic, marketing, port logistics and other topics. Participants learnt about the necessary skills required to improve the management and operational efficiency of their ports.
Visits were organized to the Port of Le Havre and the Port of Rouen, giving participants the chance to experience the day-to-day operations of a port, with a view to applying this knowledge back in their respective countries.
The port management course was delivered through IMO’s Women in Maritime programme, supported by the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China and in partnership with the Port Institute for Education and Research (IPER) and the Le Havre Port Authority. It comes as part of IMO’s ongoing and increasing efforts to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal No 5* to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
The Council of the IMO (see illustration here kindly provided by IMO © ) condemned recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman at its meeting in London held from 15-19 July.
After debate, the IMO Council decided to condemn the attacks and expressed its concern over the grave danger to life and the serious risks to navigational safety and the environment to which such incidents may give rise. The Council also emphasised the need for flag States and ship owners and operators to review the maritime security plans for their ships and implement necessary measures to address the heighted security risk to ships operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman.
Addressing the IMO Council, Secretary-General Kitack Lim also emphasised his personal condemnation of the attacks, asserting that: ‘…threats to ships and their crews, peaceably going about their business in any part of the world, are intolerable.’
On 12 May 2019, Saudi Arabian-flagged vessels Amjad and Al Marzoqah, the Norwegian-flagged vessel Andrea Victory and the Emirati-flagged vessel A. Michel, were attacked off the coast near Fujairah and suffered sabotage damage, and on 13 June 2019, the Marshall Islands flag Front Altair and Panama flag Kokuka Courageous were attacked, suffering hull damage and fire, while located in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz.