Maritime industry must ensure women overcome sector challenges – WIMOWCA

The Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA) has urged stakeholders in the maritime industry to ensure that the challenges that women currently face in the sector are overcome.

Mrs Sylvia Asana Dauda Owu, the President of WIMOWCA, who made the call, said this would enable women to reach their full potentials in careers in maritime.

Mrs Owu said this at a three-day seminar on maritime sustainability organised by the Network of Professional Women in Maritime and Ports Sectors of West and Central Africa (NPWMP-WCA), under the theme ‘PMAWCA ports facing the challenges of sustainable development: status and prospects.’

She noted that women working in maritime faced issues including developing leadership confidence and having to overcome unconscious bias, as well as having to contend with a lack of prominent role models within the field.

She said the drive towards automation as well as the shrinking pool of people with seafaring experience to come ashore and take jobs in shipping companies provide women with opportunities, they could take advantage of.

The WIMOWCA president further said it was in line with this that the International Maritime Organization, through its women in maritime development programmes, had been making a concerted effort to help the industry move forward and support women to achieve representation.

Madam Florentine Guihard Koidio, the Coordinator General of NPWMP-WCA, said the maritime sector had been overtaken by men; therefore, there was a need for women to be more visible in the sector through continuous training, being visible, and being recognized through their skills and capabilities to reach higher positions in the industry.

Madam Koidoi said the annual meeting of the group afforded them the platform to deliberate on pressing maritime issues and brought out recommendations on the way forward for the sector.

Mr Jean Marie Koffi, the Secretary General of the Port Maritime Association of West and Central Africa, said gender issues were at the heart of creating the NPWMP-WCA to give women the opportunity to contribute to maritime issues and add a feminine touch to maritime.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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