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Elena Álvarez, Oficial Radioelectrònic Naval de la Marina Mercant, Operador General del SMSSM i Radiotelegrafista. Professora d’Escola Port.
Less than 20% of recreational nautical degrees and licenses belong to women, at Escola Port we are determined to reduce the gender gap.
Recreational sailing is a pleasure for both men and women, but there are still many more men who are encouraged to earn a nautical degree. The data of the education of recreational sailing Catalonia provided by the Catalan Government point to 82% of men obtain recreational qualifications in front of 18% of women.
We do not know why women, who enjoy men as much as men at sea, decide to a lesser extent than men when it comes to obtaining a degree, which will allow them to increase their knowledge, sail more safely and also enjoy more of the sea.
In fact, the gender gap is a phenomenon that affects the professional nautical sector globally. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), of the 1.2 million marines in the world, only 2% are women and 94% work on cruises. Reducing the gender gap is one of the goals of United Nations (2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development); in particular, “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” In nautical, a sector or space historically dominated by men, it is even more essential to make efforts to reverse the situation and reach a more balanced point.
The IMO has been committed to contributing to the goal of equality, and in our context, the Government of Catalonia has also developed a strategic plan for the coming years (2018-2030) where the issue of gender equality is capital. It seeks to improve the gap based on visibility and recognition, among other strategies.
In Escola Port over the coming days and months, we will be launching several actions to help reduce the gender gap in sailing. We want to encourage women to sail, as we believe that the sea is a place for enjoyment for all, as well as a workspace full of opportunities for the entire population.