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Celebration Focuses on Luring More Women into Maritime Community

Mr Usamate highlighted that over the past decade Fiji had witnessed a rise in women having meaningful participation in the economy.
28 Sep 2019 14:50
Celebration Focuses on Luring More Women into Maritime Community
2019 Maritime Day celebration special award recipients from left: Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Jone Usamate awards Sainimere Qutonilaba, Constable Vuli Drodro and Melanaia Taliadrodro at Ratu Sukuna Park in Suva on September 27, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

World Maritime Day was celebrated at Ratu Sukuna Park, in Suva yesterday with the theme Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Jone Usamate said empowering women was just not an idea or a concept.

“It is a necessity that requires strong, positive action to address deep seated structural, institutional and cultural barriers,” he said while acknowledging the growing number of women in the maritime sector,” he said.

“The notion that shipping has always been a male-dominated industry has changed. Gender equality is now being recognised as one of the key platforms on which people can build a sustainable future.”

Mr Usamate highlighted that over the past decade Fiji had witnessed a rise in women having meaningful participation in the economy.

He said the maritime sector was a sector where the need to eliminate gender inequality was often overlooked.

“The maritime sector needs all hands on deck, both male and female. Translating this into action requires bold and forward-thinking maritime administrators, men and women who are prepared to break our socio-cultural silos,” the minister said.

“More women on board will go a long way to solving challenges faced by the maritime industry, especially the shortage of skilled seafarers.

“Globally it has been reported that a number of marine officers have increased by 34 per cent between 2005 and 2010 and it is now estimated to have increased by 24 per cent in the last five years.

“The global percentage of women in the maritime industry sits at two per cent.”

Mr Usamate said empowering women would fuel the economy across the nation.

Meanwhile, women from different sectors of the maritime community were recognised and presented awards for their contribution.

Edited by Percy Kean

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