Background Image

Italy celebrates 8 March: Women of the Ocean Generation

Date: 30 March 2022

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, in collaboration with UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, marked the International Women’s Day by presenting the women of the GenOcean! Among the most substantial projects, the new online platform of Decennio del Mare provides users with useful information to make informed decisions and to actively engage in the Ocean Decade’s mission. The event also presented the "Blue Fables: great marine research told to children" and concluded with the Donna di Mare 2022 award ceremony.

On 8 March 2022, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC), through its Project Office at the UNESCO Regional Bureau, celebrated the International Women’s Day in Rome, Italy, with this year’s theme of "Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow." Now is the time to recognise and celebrate the role of women and girls around the globe, who contribute in their communities to promote climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.

As pointed out in the message from UNESCO Director-General on the International Women’s Day, there is a long way to go in achieving gender equality. She applauded this new generation of young women – for their courage in speaking out, inspiring others and mobilising their peers, for a more sustainable tomorrow.

"The Gender equality for tomorrow starts today. Right now, however, parity is still a work in progress. Even before the pandemic, it was estimated that it would take a century to close the gender gap. We need to turn this situation around " - Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General.

The debate on the role of women in the safeguarding of the ocean was followed by the presentation of "Blue Fables: great marine research told to children," which showcased 10 fables from scientific papers by Mediterranean researchers to introduce children to the scientific research of Marine sciences, describing it exactly as it is: one of the most beautiful jobs in the world!

In the context of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), the IOC-UNESCO, B Women Italy and Donne di Mare association conceived the Donna di Mare 2022 Award to propose an innovative vision of activities for women, including entrepreneurship, which, while respecting equal rights and opportunities, also protect the environment by enhancing territories and people. These efforts demonstrate UNESCO’s longstanding commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), notably SDG 5, which calls for “gender equality and empowering all women and girls.”

The award ceremony was opened by Franco Bernabè, President of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO and Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe.

"I would like to join UNESCO Director-General in applauding this new generation of young women for their courage in speaking out, inspiring others and mobilising their peers, for a more sustainable tomorrow." - Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores, Director, UNESCO Regional Bureau.

© MITE - Debate and presentation of the Decennio del Mare new platform

The Ministry for Ecological Transition (MITE), an Italian government ministry, was established in 2021 to transform the production system towards a more sustainable model, reducing the environmental impact of energy and industrial production, as well as people's lifestyles. The ministry is strongly committed to developing and implementing policies to protect the biodiversity and raise awareness on the challenges of the Ocean Decade. The new platform, Decennio del Mare, will be a key instrument of collaboration to bring together research, schools, science, art and NGOs.

"We need to put in place all the resources to combat climate change and for the protection of biodiversity. The Ministry is working alongside the necessary energy transition, so that there may be a cultural and social transition as well. It is fundamental that a transformation of society takes place, since we are engaged in a battle that goes beyond the boundaries of this generation. Tools, such as this platform, which puts knowledge together and amplifies it, are fundamental. And, as a Ministry, we will facilitate their sharing and dissemination." - Oliviero Montanaro, Director-General of the Natural Heritage and Sea Directorate, Italian Ministry 

© Decennio del Mare. Marta Musso, winner of the Donna di Mare 2022 Award

The Ministry for Ecological Transition (MITE), an Italian government ministry, was established in 2021 to transform the production system towards a more sustainable model, reducing the environmental impact of energy and industrial production, as well as people's lifestyles. The ministry is strongly committed to developing and implementing policies to protect the biodiversity and raise awareness on the challenges of the Ocean Decade. The new platform, Decennio del Mare, will be a key instrument of collaboration to bring together research, schools, science, art and NGOs.

"I wanted to start from the small, from the invisible, microscopic to tell about our sea and bridge the gap between us and the environment. In the plankton, there are all the 'puppies' of the main marine invertebrates that prior to growing up roam the sea driven by winds and currents. The project can be carried out both in the field in person and on social media, creating in a such way a large community." - Marta Musso, winner of the Donna di Mare 2022

UNESCO is very proud of this first edition of Donna di Mare. From North to South, many young women participated in the competition, suggesting innovative ideas on how to protect and study the ocean from different points of view, as a research activity or an innovative enterprise, in the form of educational and artistic projects or communication-related ideas.

"With this award, we are focusing on the fundamental role of women and the sea and on the Woman-Sea relationship, to reveal the possibility of a new vision of entrepreneurial activities in Italy with a feminine, sustainable and enduring connotation which, like the Sea, may belong to all of us." - Francesca Santoro, Ocean Literacy Programme Specialist

***

Useful links:

Decennio del Mare

8 Marzo: le Donne della Generazione Oceano

Decennio del Mare: il Ministero in campo al fianco di Unesco

Video: Skytg24 8 marzo: le Donne della Generazione Oceano