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Commissioner of Gender Equality, Mrs Josie Christodoulou
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon, and a warm welcome to each and every one of you. I am delighted to see so many of you here today as we celebrate the International Day for Women in Maritime. A day that was established by the International Maritime Organization, in recognition of the important role of women within the maritime sector.

A day that celebrates women in the industry and is intended to promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector, raise the profile of women in maritime, strengthen the IMO’s commitment to gender equality and support work to address the current gender imbalance in maritime.

The theme of this year’s celebration “Safe Horizons: Women Shaping the Future of Maritime Safety” recognizes the crucial role women play in enhancing safety measures, whether through their roles as seafarers, maritime professionals, or in leadership positions.

Throughout the years, the shipping sector has traditionally been perceived as a male dominated industry.

But I am very pleased that times are indeed changing as in recent years we have witnessed a significant increase in the number of women who are participating in the maritime sector from various positions and ranks and who each in their own way are contributing to the future of shipping.

The maritime sector offers a vast potential for women and today we see female navigators, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, seafarers, officers, captains, CEO’s of shipping companies, government officials, ministers, and generally women who from their different roles and driven by their passion and dedication, have been instrumental in the development of shipping.

Cyprus is a strong supporter of gender equality, diversity and inclusion in all fields and the new National Strategy on Gender Equality which was approved by the Council of Ministers and entered into force beginning of this year, includes different thematic areas, and a great number of actions and policies to be implemented within a period of 3 years. In this respect, an action plan has been initiated with the Commissioner of Gender Equality, Mrs. Josie Christodoulou, promoting gender equality and inclusion in maritime, which includes as a first step the mapping of the needs of women working in shipping. I would like to thank Mrs Chryssa Pelteki for her coordination role in this matter.

All of the above are a reflection of the commitment of Cyprus towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls. We are very proud that the Council of the International Maritime Organization decided to award the first “IMO Gender Equality Award” to Cyprus candidate, Ms. Despina Theodosiou, in recognition of her significant contribution to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women in the maritime sector. I was fortunate together with colleagues from our Ministry and our High Commission in UK to attend the Gender Equality Award Ceremony and the celebration of the International Day for Women in Maritime, at the IMO Headquarters, on Friday in London and I am very happy that through Despina’s nomination, Cyprus is the first country to receive an award in this field.

I wish to take this opportunity to once again congratulate Despina for this remarkable achievement.

The promotion of gender equality and women empowerment is one of our commitments and priorities and I wish to especially thank Ms. Josie Christodoulou, WISTA Cyprus and Natalia in particular, for their assistance and support to achieve our goals. We are looking forward for the Wista International AGM in October hosted in Cyprus.

We have worked very hard to strengthen gender balance and to promote women’s inclusion and participation in the shipping sector and I assure you that we will continue to work tirelessly in this direction.

We are campaigning at schools where we promote educational initiatives aiming to empower girls and young women to pursue academic and professional paths within the shipping sector. Our goal is to achieve a more diverse representation of maritime careers and inspire young women showing them that there is a place for them in the maritime sector.

To attract young people into our industry its not only a duty of our Ministry but also a main priority of the Government of Nikos Christodoulides.

In close cooperation with the Ministry of Education for the first time we organized educational seminars, with the participation of 100 students of age 16-17, highlighting the benefits of shipping.

We also provide scholarships to students at marine academies across the country and intend to expand these scholarship programs even further, specifically tailored for women, which will facilitate access to prestigious maritime universities dedicated to fostering gender diversity and inclusion within the field.

In February of this year, the Council of Ministers approved the proposal of the Shipping Deputy Ministry for the establishment of the “Gender Equality Award in Cyprus Shipping”. An award that will be bestowed tonight for the first time and will continue to be awarded, annually to persons irrespective of gender who have made significant contributions to advancing gender equality and women empowerment in the maritime sector.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to reaffirm the commitment of both the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and my own to the principles of gender equality that will bring us closer to achieving our vision of a world, where every woman and girl can participate and enjoy equal opportunities in the shipping sector.

Before I give the floor to Mrs Jossie Christodoulou, please allow me to say a few words about the organisation from which we have chosen the symbolic gift, we will offer you tonight.

Europa Donna Cyprus is a nonprofit organisation providing support to individuals both men and women who are facing breast cancer through a range of programs and services for the past 20 years.

We all wanted to celebrate the achievements of all women tonight, supporting this meaningful cause, which is very close to our hearts.

Thank you.

Address by the Shipping Deputy Minister, Ms. Marina Hadjimanolis
Reception on the occasion of the International Day for Women in Maritime
Monday, 20th May 2024, 18:30 Gazebo Mare, Limassol (20/05/2024) Address by the Shipping Deputy Minister, Ms. Marina Hadjimanolis
Reception on the occasion of the International Day for Women in Maritime
Monday, 20th May 2024, 18:30 Gazebo Mare, Limassol (20/05/2024) Address by the Shipping Deputy Minister, Ms. Marina Hadjimanolis
Reception on the occasion of the International Day for Women in Maritime
Monday, 20th May 2024, 18:30 Gazebo Mare, Limassol (20/05/2024)