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The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030), hereinafter ‘the Ocean Decade’, seeks to catalyse transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, connecting people and our ocean. To fulfil the Decade’s mission, barriers to achieving gender, geographic, institutional, discipline and generational balance will need to be systematically identified and dismantled if no one is to be left behind.

In this regard, the World Maritime University (WMU) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) have been implementing the Empowering Women for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Programme (the Programme), with the purpose of advancing an alternative, inclusive model to promote gender equality, and the empowerment of women in the sustainable management of the global ocean.

A key output of the Programme is the development of a framework Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan for ocean-related international institutions, which makes practical and policy relevant recommendations for achieving gender equality in ocean science and science-dependent ocean governance systems in the context of the Ocean Decade.

The goal of the Strategy is to promote gender equality as a central pillar in the secretariats of ocean-related intergovernmental organizations, and potentially other types of organizations, which will guide Member States and enhance synergies and collaboration for transformative actions. To achieve this, gender mainstreaming targets and goals are an important instrument for increasing ocean sustainability and gender equality.




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World Maritime University




gender equality, ocean science, decision-making, leadership, professional development, work environment

Towards gender equality in ocean science and ocean governance: Gender equality strategy and action plan for ocean-related institutions