Gender and the Ocean

Hey everyone! As you may know, today, Saturday, June 8th, is World Oceans Day! Every year, World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity for us to celebrate the ocean and our connections to it. It gives us a chance to stop and think about the water’s value in our lives and allows us to take steps to protect ocean health everywhere. World Oceans Day recognizes that although we may live in different cities, in different countries, and on different continents, we are all connected by the same invaluable thing; the ocean.

Every year, The Ocean Project and the United Nations have worked collaboratively and partnered with thousands of organizations including museums, aquariums, conservation organizations, the maritime industry (and many more!) in an effort to bring together people across communities in the common goal of protecting the oceans that we all share. In 2019, events such as beach clean ups, environmental lectures, and water activities have been organized across 70 whole countries ranging from North America, to Nigeria and the Philippines!

This year, the United Nations have declared the theme for World Oceans Day to be Gender and the Ocean. Their goal of 2019 aims to discover the ways in which gender equality and female empowerment can be promoted through our interactions with the water around us. While women make up roughly half of the world’s population, and half the workforce, only 19 percent of people engaged in the maritime industry - such as fishing and ocean conservation - are women. In addition, women in the industry are paid only 64% of men’s wages for the exact same work in aquaculture. As a result, in many parts of the world, the contribution of women towards both ocean conservation efforts and ocean-based livelihoods become invisible. The depletion of ocean resources and the declining health of marine life become not only damaging to the oceans themselves, but also risk eliminating sources of income and means of empowerment for strong and hardworking women across the world.

So why is this important to our company? Why are we here, at Girl & The Sea, talking about this? Just like this year’s World Ocean Day, our mission is to give strength to ourselves as women and give strength to the oceans around us. With our natural and sustainable marine collagen, we provide an opportunity to give your body the strength it needs in the most environmentally friendly way we can, allowing ourselves to feel good in a way that benefits ourselves, but also in a way shows our deep respect and gratitude for our oceans’ resources. Through our products, we want to show how the connections we have with both ourselves and the sea gives us a sense of self-empowerment and a chance to simultaneously take care of ourselves, but to give back as well. How our own health and happiness is so closely intertwined with the health and happiness of the environments we inhabit. How the relationships we have with the sea provide us with ways of connecting with each other as women and with the world around us.

So happy World Oceans Day! If the ocean has a special place in your heart, take today to reach out, look at what’s going on in your community. Maybe there’s a community clean-up going on at your local beach or maybe it’s finally time to ditch those plastic straws for those shiny metal ones you’ve been seeing all over Instagram. Take a look at the products you use every day, at what they’re made of and where they come from, and think about what type of impacts they have on our oceans. Take today to think about what the ocean means to you, how it has bettered you, your body, and your life, and how you can better it in return. And although this Saturday does provide an invaluable moment to reflect and to act, it is important to use today only as a stepping stone into further ways we can continue to improve the way we treat both our environment and ourselves. Into further ways we, as women, will continue to explore our strength. Our strength as individual people, our strength as an empowered group, and our strength to make a positive change not only within ourselves but in the world around us.

Alexandra Blanter 

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