The importance of empowering women in the maritime sector was highlighted today by the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo, at the closing ceremony of a half-day workshop held at the Seafarer's Centre in Mer Rouge.
The workshop, organised in the context of the World Maritime Day, is an initiative of the Shipping Division of the Ministry. It brought together around 25 stakeholders of the maritime sector in Mauritius.
In his address, Minister Koonjoo underlined that the theme retained by the International Maritime Organisation for this year, Empowering Women in the Maritime Community, significantly advocates for the empowerment of more women in this sector. World Maritime Day, he pointed out, offers a platform for stakeholders to foster an environment in which women are recognised and selected for career opportunities in maritime administrations, ports and maritime training institutes as well as to promote more gender equality in the sector.
The Minister further observed that from 2015 to 2019, an increase in the number of women joining the maritime community has been registered. This, he said, demonstrates the efforts of Mauritius to minimise the gender gap in this sector as well women's growing interest in the maritime world. To this end, he indicated that as at 2019, around 142 women are holders of the Seafarer's Book compared to 2015 with some 40 women.
It is therefore crucial, Mr Koonjoo emphasised, for more women to join the maritime industry, and undergo training so as to acquire the necessary skills, thereby promoting their development and progress in this sector.
Every year, the World Maritime Day is celebrated during the last week of September. This year's theme provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 5 -Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls and to highlight the important contribution of women within the maritime sector.