The World Maritime University’s (WMU) research and capacity building programme on Empowering Women for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Empowering Women Programme) has been endorsed as a Decade Action of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade). The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO) announced the endorsement on World Oceans Day, 8 June 2021.
WMU’s Empowering Women Programme is generously sponsored by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), with additional support from The Nippon Foundation, and is delivered through a multidisciplinary team at the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute. The Programme will enhance capacity to explore and promote women’s empowerment and gender equality in the conduct of ocean science and in science-dependent governance systems.
Research findings will identify key barriers and good practice contributing to a proposed Strategy and Action Plan to help deliver equal opportunities for full participation and leadership by women at all levels of ocean science under the Ocean Decade. The Programme will enhance ongoing collaborations with partners including intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, research institutes, universities, and individuals to deliver substantive research outputs contributing to transformative actions.
Regarding the endorsement, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU said, “The Ocean Decade provides a golden opportunity to achieve gender equality in ocean science. I firmly believe that through a range of initiatives, the Empowering Women Programme, delivered by the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, will enhance the capacity to explore and promote women’s empowerment and gender equality in the conduct of ocean science, as well as in science-dependent governance systems.
The Programme is committed to contributing transformative actions to empower women from all backgrounds for the Ocean Decade. We could not be more pleased that the importance of this Programme has been duly recognized by IOC-UNESCO with recognition as an official Ocean Decade Action.”
The IOC-UNESCO Decade Action endorsement of the Empowering Women Programme is a milestone in WMU’s involvement in the Ocean Decade, and furthers the University’s substantive efforts to promote gender equality in line with Goal 5 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It recognizes that WMU’s Empowering Women Programme will play a central role in supporting the Ocean Decade mission to catalyze transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development. Through advancing women’s participation in ocean science at all levels, the Programme supports the achievement of the Ocean Decade vision by advocating for ‘the people we need for the ocean we want’.