Gender Mainstreaming in Marine Science

© Mauritius Oceanography Institute. Dr Moothien Pilley and her colleagues in the field.

In recent years, the number of women involved in science has significantly increased. But, although there are encouraging signs, women are still under-represented in science. Today, women account for only 30% of the world’s researchers, and even lower percentages at higher decision-making levels. Regarding marine science and ocean research – that is oceanography, including biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geochemistry, geology, geophysics, computer and electronic engineering, marine instrumentation and other disciplines in investigations of the marine environment – women appears to be particularly rare to pursue such career paths.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) ensures gender mainstreaming in its activities and projects at all levels of action. In particular, the Commission aims to promote the equal representation of men and women within the marine science community as a whole. To that end, through its “Initiative for Women Marine Scientists”, IOC-UNESCO supports and celebrates the achievements of women scientists, with the objective of creating role models for girls to identify with and follow.

Women who have dedicated their lives to marine sciences and to the protection of the marine environment have agreed to share their stories, and to help us understand how UNESCO-IOC can work together with them in the promotion of gender equality. Through this project, the Commission hopes to encourage young women to pursue careers in science and in particular, science related to the ocean.

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