The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA),Nigeria and the Women in Maritime (WIMA) Nigeria are collaborating for the first time to mark the inaugural edition of the International Day for the Women in Maritime instituted by International Maritime Organisation(IMO) to celebrate women in the industry, according to MMSPlusng.
The initiative is to promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector as well as raise the profile of women in maritime and strengthen IMO’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5, which is gender equality and support work to address the current gender imbalance in the sector, according to the IMO.
The event is billed to take place on Wednesday,18th at the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) conference centre in Lagos. Expectations are high among the women who desire a level playing field for all in the maritime industry.
For the President of WIMA, Mrs. Rollen Macfoy, what women need is proper recognition and placement. “This is what we need, recognition and proper placement.”
Macfoy noted that there are some things that needed to be done. “Is NIMASA not capable of speaking to ship owners in Nigeria to the effect that every ship in Nigeria must carry at least one woman that is a seafarer. If they come up with that, even if all the ship owners would not comply, if we have 3,000 ships in Nigeria and 2,000 comply, we have gone very far. That is a success,” she stated.
Macfoy decried the attitude where a woman is discriminated against in certain issues. “When it comes to project bidding, they shouldn’t look at women and feel they cannot do a particular job. They should look at your qualification and your ability to defend that job at the point of selection or at the point of interview”, she said.
She further said that in the selection of Directors and all other positions at offices, women should be given a chance; noting that women overtime have evolved.
Speaking on the inaugural event, President WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke said ,“For WISTA Nigeria, this is a landmark recognition by the IMO for women in the maritime industry. It is the international proverbial voice of power speaking loud and clear on the need to focus on breaking the gender barriers, focus on training and giving visibility to women in the maritime industry.
“The theme for this year 2022 which is “Training, Visibility and Recognition: Supporting a Barrier-Free Working Environment” being celebrated for the first time is apt, because there is an urgent need to recognize the vast contributions of women in the sector and encourage them by creating an enabling environment for the women. There is need for women to participate in decision making without hindrances” she said.
The inaugural event co-hosted by WIMA and WISTA promises to attract the change-makers in the maritime industry. The event theme which is “Maritime Security Issues and Blue Economy” will showcase Nigerian maritime amazons, gurus, and global front liners engage in very rewarding and educative deliveries aimed at addressing the myriads of maritime security challenges and opportunities, numerous untapped potentials in the sector. Speakers slated to speak at the event include, Mrs. Grace Obiozor, former Acting CEO of NSC, the President of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke, the President of WIMA Nigeria, Mrs. Rollens Macfoy; the founder of African Maritime Environment Sustainability Initiative (AFMESI), Dr. Felicia Mogo, Captain Amitbhandari, amongst others.
In his massage to the inaugural IMO International Day for Women in Maritime, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim, called on all to “let’s work to break down barriers and ensure that we create a work environment that is enabling, supportive and inclusive of all diverse participation by all without hindrance in the maritime community” he said.