International Day of Women in Maritime celebrated in Mumbai


Shri. Shripad Naik felicitates 16 women torch-bearers for being the 'First Ones' in their respective areas of excellence in maritime. 

Union Government’s efforts to provide financial assistance and policy level support have resulted in increasing the number of Indian women seafarers to 3327: Union Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal.

“We are making concerted efforts to help the Maritime industry move forward and support women achieve a representation that keeps pace with twenty-first century expectations”. – MoS Shri Shripad Naik

Mumbai, 18 May 2023: The National Maritime Day Celebrations (NMDC) Committee, under the aegis of the Directorate General of Shipping, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, commemorated the 'International Day for Women in Maritime' today in Powai, Mumbai. The event, organized to promote gender equality in the maritime sector, featured a special program attended by Shri Shripad Naik, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Tourism, Govt. Of India, and Shri Rajiv Jalota, Chairman of NMDC (Central) Committee. The International Maritime Organization's (IMO) selected theme for this year's 'International Day for Women in Maritime' is 'Mobilizing networks for gender equality.'

During the event, sixteen women pioneers in the maritime field, representing various sectors and recognized for their exceptional achievements, were felicitated by the Honorable Minister and DG Shipping.

Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Shipping, Ports & Waterways, conveyed his greetings to the Women in Maritime via a video message. He emphasized the government's commitment to the development of women in all fields, including the maritime industry. The government is actively providing financial assistance and policy-level support to facilitate the engagement of Indian Female Seafarers in the maritime field. As a result of these efforts, the number of Indian women seafarers has increased to 3327, according to the Minister. He also highlighted the existence of a grievance redressal mechanism for women seafarers and reiterated the government's focus on promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. He also informed that a grievance redressal mechanism for women seafarers is in operation for the benefits of all the women in maritime. “The theme adopted for this year is very appropriate when our nation under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, is also promoting & advancing 'Nari Shakti' initiative across the sector through various activities.” said the minister.

“To increase the number of women in all sectors including maritime, is one of the highest priorities of the government. We are committed to support the United nation’s 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development including the goal to achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women.” He added.

Union Minister of State for Ports Shipping and Waterways Shripad Naik applauded the achievements of the women honored at the event and emphasized the theme's relevance in promoting collaboration and networking for gender equality in the maritime sector. He expressed the government's dedication to supporting women's representation in alignment with twenty-first-century expectations and highlighted the positive impact of investing in women, citing evidence that shows progress for all when women are empowered.

Minister Shripad Naik also highlighted the establishment of eight Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs) across the globe, covering 152 countries and dependent territories, under the auspices of the IMO. These associations play a crucial role in supporting women in the maritime industry and encouraging the participation of the next generation.

Expressing happiness about the increasing number of women in the maritime industry, MoS Shripad Naik cited the example of the bravery and leadership skills shown by Capt. Radhika Menon during a successful and courageous rescue operation which she led from the front rescuing seven fishermen in 2015- as the inspiration for all aspirant young girls.

He informed that The Maritime India Vision document 2030 envisaged the launch of 'Women in seafarer' program including encouragement to undertake onshore jobs, awareness and marketing campaigns, incentivizing shipping companies and leveraging scholarships to improve women participation.

Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the IMO, emphasized the significance of the theme in his video message. He praised the IMO-established Women in Maritime Associations for their efforts in supporting women in the maritime industry and inspiring the next generation to join the sector.

A panel discussion on the Theme "Mobilizing networks for gender equality' was also held during the programme.

Names of the women who are Felicitated and received the awards:

  1. Smt. Sumatiben Morarjee: Pioneer, Maritime Sector
  2. Ms. Anna Rajam Malhotra: Ms. Anna Rajam Malhotra as Pioneer Maritime Sector
  3. Ms. Asha Sheth: Ms. Asha Sheth for being the First Woman to chronicle & promote maritime history.
  4. Ms. Rani Jadhav IAS (Retd.): Ms. Rani Jadhav For being the First Woman Chairperson of the Mumbai Port Trust.
  5. Ms. Kiran Dhingra IAS (Retd.): Ms. Kiran Dhingra, for being the First Woman Director General of Shipping.
  6. Dr. Malini Shankar: First Woman Vice-Chancellor of Indian Maritime University.
  7. Ms. H. K. Joshi: First Woman Chairperson & Managing Director, The Shipping Corporation of India.
  8. Dr. Sujata Tolani-Naik: First Woman Chairperson of Tolani Maritime Institute.
  9. Ms. Ratna Chadha: First Woman Cruise Connoisseur of India
  10. Ms. Parvathi Rajalakshmi: First Woman Naval Architect.
  11. Ms. Sonali Banerjee: First woman Marine Engineer.
  12. Capt. Radhika Menon: First woman Master & Winner of IMO Bravery Award.
  13. Ms. Suneeti Bala: First woman Marine Chief Engineer.
  14. Ms. Reshma Nilofer: First woman Ship Pilot.
  15. Capt. Suneha Gadpande: First woman to Command MV Swarna Krishna - First Vessel with all-Woman Officers.
  16. Ms. Divya Jatin Jain: First Women Chief Engineer MV Swarna Krishna - First Vessel with all-Woman Officers.

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