Role of women

Gender equality and empowering women

The UN is committed to promoting gender equality and women's empowerment to assure that women and men enjoy the same status and have equal opportunities to realize their full human rights and potential. Gender equality is the equal valuing by society of both the similarities and the differences between women and men and the different roles they play. Targeted measures are often needed to compensate for historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from otherwise being equals. These measures may necessitate different treatment of women and men in order to ensure an equal outcome. It is fundamental - and beneficial for all - that women are able to participate in all spheres of life and society.

Women in marine science

Marine science is as vast as the ocean, and research on the ocean - that is, oceanography - has united biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geochemistry, geology, geophysics, computer and electronic engineering, marine instrumentation and other disciplines in investigations of the marine environment. Though women have succeeded in breaking into many previously male-dominated fields in recent years, it is still unusual to find them in marine science and technology careers. The UNESCO-IOC has recently launched a series of articles highlighting the contribution of women to marine science.

Women in fisheries

Fisheries are essential to the well-being of millions of people in the developing world, supporting the livelihoods of 540 million. Capture fisheries and aquaculture provide direct employment for over 45 million people - add to that the important secondary sectors such as handling and processing and women represent half of those involved.