The International Maritime Organization (IMO) decided, in November 2021, to establish the International Day of Women in the Maritime Sector, on May 18 of each year, to celebrate women in the maritime industry, promote their recruitment, retention and sustainable employment of women in the maritime sector.
Since 1988, IMO has been working to promote gender equality in the maritime sector, seeking to strengthen the position of women through training, visibility and recognition. This INternational Day now reinforces this commitment, also contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Gender equality – one of the 17 goals that underpin the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development, which countries around the world have committed to implementing.
According to the 2021 BIMCO/ICS Seafarer Workforce report, the number of women in maritime positions has grown by 45.8% since 2015. There are more than 24,000 women working in the sector, but this number represents only 1.28% of the global maritime workforce.