On the International Day for Women in Maritime, University President Shares Her Experiences and Hopes

The International Maritime Corporation (IMO), the United Nations corporation dependable for security and protection at sea, has declared each and every 18 Might the Intercontinental Day for Women of all ages in Maritime. Gals are ever more engaged in the fishing and maritime sector, which has traditionally been dominated by males.

Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry turned the initially girl to provide as president of the Entire world Maritime College (WMU) when the IMO secretary-typical appointed her to the placement in 2015. Dr. Doumbia-Henry, an professional on international labor requirements and basic safety at sea, was born in the Caribbean island country of Dominica and commenced her academic profession as a lecturer in regulation at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. She later on labored at the Iran-US Promises Tribunal in The Hague prior to joining the Global Labor Business, the place she held a selection of increasingly senior positions for virtually 30 years.

This interview has been edited for clarity and size.

What activities have pushed your fascination in intercontinental law and the maritime sector?

Increasing up in Dominica, the sea had a important affect on my existence. I have extended been fascinated by the authorized profession. I knew from an early age that I desired to grow to be a lawyer. My father was a Member of Parliament, and I was normally curious about the legal documents staying talked about. He was also an educator and willingly stated to me simple aspects of his operate.

As of 2021, women signify only 1.2% percent of the international seafarer workforce, with an unfamiliar amount of ladies engaged in the fishing marketplace. What are your feelings on making protected spaces for women in male-dominated maritime industries and supporting bigger gender equity in maritime? 

A sustainable maritime market desires entry to the full spectrum of talent, which means that we want to inspire much more ladies to choose maritime professions. Gender equality is constructed into the Global Labor Organization’s mandate, and the Worldwide Maritime Organization has been actively promoting gender equality and doing the job with member States to carry out methods towards equality at a countrywide stage. But although guidelines and guidelines are significant, to defend feminine and male seafarers they want to be adopted across all corporations a lifestyle of gender equality onboard vessels is important.

According to our study, development in achieving better gender equality in the maritime sector has been hindered by the longtime misplaced notion that females are not suited for performing on board ships.

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On the International Day for Women in Maritime, University President Shares Her Experiences and Hopes&#13
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Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry speaks on gender equity at the third Globe Maritime College Worldwide Women’s Conference.
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What function can your university perform in encouraging much more women of all ages to choose a maritime profession? 

Training encourages equality and innovations the comprehensive and effective participation and equivalent options for women at all amounts of final decision-producing, irrespective of whether in political, financial, academic, business enterprise or general public existence. At the World Maritime College, we’re keenly centered on growing women’s obtain to academic options in the maritime sector, including at the postgraduate degree, in order to progress their comprehensive participation in the maritime and ocean industries. We have a proactive recruitment method, and now additional than 20% of our graduates are females, which is a considerable improvement considering that the 1990s.

Our feminine college students are role products in the maritime market, and they have the power to encourage youthful generations to look for job opportunities. That tends to make WMU’s impact a considerable a single. We hope to see a lot more donors sponsor girls in their early- to midcareers to full their postgraduate education at WMU.

Fishing is a hazardous occupation. What actions can the international community acquire to mitigate threats posed to ladies in the fishing market? 

Fishing is absolutely a single of the world’s most unsafe professions, with many lives shed every single 12 months. Though women of all ages occupy approximately fifty percent of the general fisheries sector workforce, they are inclined to have constrained leadership possibilities and are typically more vulnerable to financial and social risks—such as gender-primarily based violence that can come up from structural inequalities and destructive social norms in male-dominated societies.

There are numerous intercontinental agreements which could assist reinforce basic safety: The Global Labor Organization’s Perform in Fishing Conference (WFC), and the International Maritime Organization’s Global Convention on Specifications of Instruction, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCWS)—and the Cape City Arrangement. When these agreements really do not particularly relate to gender, their adoption and ratification could improve safety for all people today on vessels. Implementation of the WFC and the STCWS are essential techniques towards making daily life at sea safer for absolutely everyone. Of the three, the initially two have entered into power, and the Cape City Arrangement, which focuses on vessel safety benchmarks, has but to be ratified.

Gals currently engage in a essential role in the fishing sector, notably in coastal and subsistence fisheries. But they really don’t have a voice however that’s commensurate with their contributions. What wants to occur for that to alter?

Women of all ages will only obtain owing recognition of their socioeconomic contribution if gender is regarded as integral to the structure, implementation, checking and evaluation of fishing and maritime policies and programmes. This may necessarily mean adapting laws having into account traditional tactics and producing them suitable with gender equality. Elevating consciousness, education and learning and instruction are critical to powerful implementation of these policies and guidelines.

What do you hope the long term holds? 

To ensure its individual long run, the sector need to embrace gender equality. There are limitless alternatives for women in the maritime and ocean industries, and anyone has a purpose to enjoy in supporting gender equality for a sustainable maritime and oceans upcoming. We have to choose to be bold! We will have to make gender equality a actuality, right now and not tomorrow.