The Commonwealth covers 54 countries, 47 of which are coastal states, including two-thirds of the world’s small island developing states: essentially those most vulnerable to ocean degradation and climate change.
The Commonwealth has a huge stake in the future of our global ocean, together covering more than one-third (35%) of national marine waters globally and home to 45% of coral reefs.
In the lead up to International Women’s Day, the Commonwealth Secretariat will be celebrating women’s contributions to ocean science with a virtual event.
The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth will introduce this special web event, which will highlight inspiring stories of women from across the Commonwealth who are challenging gender norms through their work in ocean industries.
Speakers include special address from Hon. Ms. Zaha Waheed, minister of fisheries, marine resources and agriculture, Maldives along with perspectives from Emily Penn, co-founder of eXXpedition; Tricia Lovell, a senior fisheries officer, Antigua and Barbuda; Dr Rahanna Juman, Deputy Director Research at the Institute of Marine Affairs, Trinidad and Tobago.
The Assistant Deputy Minister, Ecosystems and Oceans Science, Dr. Arran McPherson will present key findings and recommendations from the Gender Equity in Oceans Science report published in late 2020. This report commissioned by Fisheries and Oceans Canada focuses on how better opportunities can be opened up in ocean sciences for women and those who identify as non-binary.
A short film will be screened about gender equality in ocean sciences in the Commonwealth.