Stakeholders in the maritime sector have urged more female gender to embrace several professions in the maritime industry that is historically male dominated.
This is coming as the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), 2021 Seafarer Workforce Report, stated that women represent only 1.2 percent of the global seafarer workforce, emphasizing it represents a positive trend in gender balance.
The report also estimated that 24,059 women serve as seafarers, which was a 45.8 percent increase compared with the 2015 report.
However, Women in Maritime Africa (WIMA), Nigeria Chapter, in line with breaking the barriers in the profession marked the IWD 2022, with the theme, “Gender Equity Today For Sustainable Tomorrow,” by giving out educational materials to selected schools and aligning female students to mentors in the sector.
Speaking at the event to raise more awareness for women in the sector, the President, WIMA, Mrs. Rollens Macfoy, said maritime has been a male dominated industry for a very long time, noting that few years ago women began to come into the profession despite the discrimination.
“We have female chief engineers who goes on board and she still meets up with certain responsibilities at home. We also have female captains of vessels; so many women have become maritime lawyers. The bias has been broken and today, we are telling young ladies that there is no barrier in professionalism. There is nothing that stops a woman from becoming professionally fulfilled and as a woman in the home, “she said.
Making his presentation at the event, the Secretary General, Abuja Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, for West and Central African Region, Captain Sunday Umoren stressed that opportunities abound in the maritime “and you could work and invest in ocean freight, warehousing, ocean shipping logistics, trucking, sales, freight forwarding, air freight, railway, or as a terminal operator.
“Together the economic impact created by this sector is of unimaginable impact, vast and competitive- creating jobs, attracting foreign investments, supporting allied industries, improved standard of living, positive impact in creating cosmopolitan cities, increasing local purchasing power and offering plenty of business opportunities,” he said.
For the Founding Director General of Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Akerele, maritime is a male dominated industry, which “we need female groups to challenge, the women needs to tap into the opportunities available in the marine world.”