World Maritime Day 2019


About the World Maritime theme for 2019

The World Maritime Day theme for the year is "Empowering Women in the Maritime Community". This provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, and to highlight the important - yet under-utilized - contribution of women within the maritime sector.

Empowering women fuels thriving economies across the world, spurs growth and development, and benefits everyone working in the global maritime community in the drive towards safe, secure, clean and sustainable shipping.

Watch the video below and download the World Maritime theme message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim here.

Parallel Event 2019 - Colombia

The World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2019 was held in Cartagena, Colombia, 15-17 September 2019. Read about the event here and view photos and video. 

The World Maritime Day Parallel Event is hosted in a different country each year. It provides a platform that brings together important actors and stakeholders in the maritime community to discuss matters of mutual concern. In keeping with this year's theme, the 2019 Parallel Event will raise a particular spotlight on issues affecting maritime women that are relevant to the wider maritime community.

The event was opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

The Colombian Maritime Pavilion hosted a linked maritime trade show. 

Videos here:

Visit the worldmaritimedaycolombia website for more information. 

IMO Secretary-General's message


Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls

Shipping has historically been a male-dominated industry and that tradition runs long and deep. However, IMO believes that empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurs productivity and growth, and benefits every stakeholder in the global maritime community. Through its Women in Maritime gender equality and capacity-building programme IMO encourages its Member States to enable women to train alongside men in their maritime institutes and so acquire the high-level of competence that the maritime industry demands. 

IMO supports gender equality and the empowerment of women through gender specific fellowships; by facilitating access to high-level technical training for women in the maritime sector in developing countries; and creating the environment in which women are identified and selected for career development opportunities in maritime administrations, ports and maritime training institutes.

Click here to learn more about SDG 5. 

Key Events

A series of activities and events have been and will be held during 2019 related to the theme Empowering Women in the Maritime Community. Many maritime stakeholders have enthusiastically taken up the theme, which has been highlighted at seminars, conferences and panel discussions.

IMO has been directly involved in numerous events. These include:

  • 8 March - International Women's Day celebration event at IMO Headquarters.
  • March - launch of women in maritime profiles to showcase women who have benefited from the Women in Maritime programme.
  • 4-5 April - 3rd International conference on Empowering Women in the Maritime Community at the World Maritime University, Malmö, Sweden. Read outcome
  • 5 April - Meeting of all seven IMO regional Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs), on sidelines of WMU Conference.
  • 10 April - "Women, ports and facilitation"  special event held at IMO Headquarters during the Facilitation Committee meeting.
  • 1 May - special event held at IMO Headquarters on International Labour Day, exploring issues around female representation in a traditionally male-dominated industry. 
  • 7 June - IMO special event at Nor-Shipping exhibition to highlight  challenges – and the solutions – around encouraging women to take up seafaring roles.
  • 25 June - On the International Day of the Seafarer, IMO, industry and other stakeholders joined the campaign to get on board with this year's theme of gender equality and declare their support with the "# I Am On Board" hashtag.
  • 25 June - IMO film, Turning the Tide, showing how IMO's Women in Maritime programme is helping to support gender diversity in the maritime sector, premiered during the 69th session of IMO's Technical Cooperation Committee (TC 69).
  • 10 September - "Empowering women in the maritime community" theme highlighted by IMO at the WISTA International/Inmarsat panel on "Digitalization and Diversity", during London International Shipping Week. 
  • 10 September - World Maritime Week Malaysia holds session on "Encouraging Gender Diversity in Maritime Industry".
  • 15-17 September - World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2019 in Cartagena, Colombia.
  • 18-20 September - Regional conference for the Network of Women of the Maritime Authorities of Latin America - Red de Mujeres de Autoridades Maritimas de Latinoamerica (MAMLa).
  • 26 September - Celebration of World Maritime Day at IMO Headquarters. Photos here
  • Late 2019 - initiating IMO/WISTA study to collect and analyse data on the number of women employed in the maritime sector. 

Member Governments and international organizations are encouraged to organize events throughout the year to highlight the World Maritime Day theme.