In order to address many of the gender equality issues facing women marine scientists in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, better networking amongst them is critical. Better networking will not only help to bring them together to discuss issues of common interest and identify priority issues for action but it will also provide them with a platform where they can plan their activities and speak with one voice on issues of their concerns. During the WIOMSA symposium 2017 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, WIOMSA launched a network for Women in Marine Science (WiMS) to address these issues.
In addition to other initiatives, to increase the participation of women in marine science within the WIO region, WIOMSA are now establishing a fellowship program for women marine scientists. The fellowship program will be a key component in the WiMS network and will also complement the focus areas in WIOMSAs strategic plan.