2019 World Maritime Day marked in Accra

 The Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Mr Thomas Kofi Alonsi has called for the development of policies and strategies to promote the empowerment of women in the country’s maritime industry.

This he said would help break down the gender barriers in the sector.

“Ghana is proud to have produced female captains of ships but certainly there is much more work to be done. We need to empower our women to take up jobs in the shipping industry so that the world will have more brave women,” he added.

Mr Alonsi made the call at a grand parade organised by the GMA in commemoration of the World Maritime Day celebration held in Accra on Thursday at the Regional Maritime University (RMU).

According to him, shipping had been male dominated due to the extreme hard manual labour involved with the long sailing periods.

This, he said, also applied to many of the associated jobs and professions in the maritime sector.

Mr Alonsi noted that Reports from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) showed that women represented only two per cent of the world’s million seafarers today and 94 per cent of them work in the cruise industry, engaging only in short voyages, adding that there was therefore the need to attract more women to the shipping industry.

He revealed that 32 per cent of the workforce of the GMA were women, adding that the authority had also earmarked the training of females as flag state surveyors and port state control officers.

The Vice Chancellor of the RMU, Mr Elvis Nyarko appealed to government to set up a special scholarship scheme to support more women and encourage them to take up maritime education and training programmes to become future seafarers.

He mentioned the lack of financial support to go through maritime education, family and socio-cultural issues that do not work in favour of women who desire to take on jobs as seawomen and challenges of childbearing demands that come along in the course of their profession as seafarers as some challenges faced by women who wished to embark on careers as seafarers.

The Vice Chancellor commended the Ghana Shippers Authority for instituting a scholarship scheme for female students offering courses in Marine Engineering and Nautical Science and hoped that other maritime agencies would emulate the gesture.

Mr Nyarko assured that RMU would continue to maintain its “enviable record” in maritime education and training, by producing the requisite human resources for the maritime industry, with more emphasis on increasing the intake of female applicant.


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