The Federal Transport Authority- Land and Maritime (FTA) took part in the activities of World Maritime Day 2019 held in London under the theme ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.’ This year’s celebration promoted gender equality in the maritime sector in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event also provided industry stakeholders with a platform to discuss collaborative efforts to promote higher women participation in different aspects of the maritime sector, including administration and maritime training as well as foster intercultural dialogue about gender equality in the maritime community.
H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, the UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of FTA - Land and Maritime, said: “The UAE’s participation was part of our ongoing quest to spur global maritime growth and development as well as highlight the important yet contributions of women to the sector. The UAE takes gender equality seriously as the country continues to work hard to eliminate the gap between male and female employees across all maritime fields. We believe that women play an important role to accelerate the industry’s development. Thanks to their skills and capabilities, they are well-positioned to support the national economy.”
H.E. Al Nuaimi added: “The UAE recognizes the role of women in the maritime industry. It has made great efforts to ensure gender equality in the sector. We also believe in women’s ability to perform various tasks alongside their male counterparts. As such, the country continues to provide them with opportunities to learn and undergo training to enhance their skills and strengthen their role in various maritime fields. If we want to fuel development across the sector, we need to promote gender equality.”
According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), women account for 2 per cent of 1.2 million seafarers around the world, 94 per cent of them work in leisure voyages and cruise. The organization aspires to empower women in the marine transportation sector to help enhance its efficiency.
Women empowerment will help drive marine economic growth, stimulate productivity, and benefit all stakeholders. As part of its efforts in this area, the IMO offers scholarships to women wishing to join the sector. It also facilitates access to high-level maritime technical training in developing countries, in addition to creating a safe work environment that provides them with equal career development opportunities.
In 1988, IMO launched a global gender equality program to build skills and accelerate the integration of women into the sector. The program has laid the foundation for crafting effective organizational policies and procedures. It aims to empower women by providing them with training and job opportunities. IMO has helped create seven regional women associations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Pacific Islands.
The World Maritime Day aims to promote maritime sustainability and development. The sector, which is central to global trade, accounts for 80 per cent of the total global trade. The event focuses on sustainable economic growth, manpower, prosperity and stability through enhanced global maritime trade, port infrastructure development, and increased women participation.