Recommendations for Promoting Gender Equality in Ocean Science

On World Oceans Day, which is commemorated every 8 June, we make public the “Recommendations for Promoting Gender Equality in Ocean Sciences”, the result of the event “Dialogue for building bridges between intersectional gender equality and ocean science: A multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach”, organised last 8 April as part of the Decade of the Oceans Conference.


The event, organised in Barcelona in collaboration with ICM/CSIC, UNESCO, Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government, Oceánicas (IEO-CSIC), AZTI and Associació Catalana de Dones de la Mar, focused on creating a space for dialogue to define a joint vision of ocean science from a gender perspective. The importance of including women at all levels of ocean science and recognising their contributions was stressed. The recommendations document addresses the importance of gender equality in ocean science within the framework of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).


These recommendations are summarised below:

  1. Gender equality as a cross-cutting theme: Integrate a gender perspective into all Decade of Oceans actions, policies and programmes.
  2. Joint action: Encourage the participation of the international community, academic institutions, the private sector and civil society organisations in the promotion of gender equality.
  3. Promoting women’s participation and leadership: Identify barriers and pathways for women’s participation and leadership in ocean affairs.
  4. Capacity building: Intensify efforts to ensure that women benefit from capacity building initiatives.
  5. Transdisciplinary approach: Collaboration across sectors to improve ocean governance outcomes.
  6. Increased investment and funding: Allocate more financial resources to women-led projects that promote gender equality.
  7. Creating spaces and support networks for women: Establish spaces where women can develop and share their ideas.
  8. Improving knowledge on gender gaps: Improve the collection of sex-disaggregated data and introduce gender-sensitive indicators.
  9. Tackling gender discrimination from an intersectional perspective: Implement policies and programmes that eliminate discriminatory practices.
  10. Quality educational opportunities for girls and young women ocean scientists: Provide educational opportunities, scholarships and mentoring programmes.
  11. Inclusive and respectful work environments: Promote policies of inclusion and diversity, and eliminate gender-based violence in the workplace.


These recommendations have already been submitted to UNESCO and the Decade of the Oceans to demand that gender equality be fully integrated into ocean sciences and that women have an active and recognised role in the preservation and sustainable management of the oceans.