Network of Women in Marine Science

Inspiring Women in Ocean Science: Naima Maow

In honour of International Women’s Day 2024, we highlight the vital contributions and resilience of women in marine science, spotlighting Naima Maow from Mogadishu, Somalia.

Naima has been instrumental in a groundbreaking scientific expedition in the Central Indian Ocean Ridge, organised by the South Korean Government and the International Seabed Authority (ISA). Her work encompasses a wide array of marine science disciplines, including marine geology, environmental baseline assessments, the exploration of massive sulphide deposits, as well as comprehensive benthic and pelagic environmental surveys. Her proficiency in utilising deep-sea sampling equipment and analytical techniques underscores her invaluable expertise in marine science.

Beyond her research contributions, Naima’s commitment to her local community is evident through her active involvement in the Bah-dabaalato Swimming Club in Mogadishu. Her volunteer efforts in promoting swimming, rescue operations, water safety awareness, and responsible tourism play a crucial role in enhancing public safety and environmental consciousness in a country that is recuperating from prolonged civil strife. These initiatives, especially her dedication to educating the public about drowning prevention and weather-related swimming hazards, demonstrate her holistic approach to marine conservation and public welfare.

Moreover, Naima serves as a maritime officer at the Ministry of Environment and Climate in Somalia, where she applies her scientific knowledge and community experience to national policy and environmental protection efforts. This role places her at the forefront of Somalia’s maritime environmental and climate initiatives, highlighting the essential intersection of science, policy, and community engagement.

Naima’s path reflects the multifaceted challenges women face in marine science, particularly within the Somali context where gender norms and the remnants of conflict add layers of complexity. Her professional achievements, coupled with her impactful community work, exemplify the spirit of International Women’s Day, illuminating the indispensable role of women in advancing marine science, fostering community resilience, and leading environmental stewardship in Somalia and beyond.