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Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Port and Maritime sector

Industry leaders in Port and Maritime Operations of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMEASA) meeting on the banks of the Zambezi River in Livingstone Zambia joined hands with the African Union through its Department for Women Gender and Development to mark 16 days of Activism at the annual investor forum on November 22 & 23, 2017. 

Livingstone Zambia maritime meeting

Building on the theme of the conference “ raising the profile of land linked countries in the logistics and maritime value chains”, CEOs, MD and senior leaders in the ports and maritime industry commended efforts to raisie the profile of gender equality and women’s empowerment in their sector and committed to using their networks to advance this important agenda. 

The Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Zambia Mrs. Inonge Mutukwa Wina saluted the industry and the AU’s efforts to making the maritime sector more inclusive of women and expressed her support for the creation of WOMESA Chapter in Zambia. As the convener of this conference, the Honorable Eng. Brian Mushimba Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Zambia stated unequivocally that gender based violence had no place in his sector and our society and 16 days of activism provided an opportunity to reflect on how we can build communities which foster gender equality. Speaking at the Board meeting, Mr. Bisey Uireb, Chairman of PMESA and CEO of Namibia Ports Authority recommended that projects and initiatives supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment will take center stage in his agenda hence forth. 

Ms. Catherine Wanjiru the Managing Director of Kenya Ports Authority and Ms. Nozipho Mdawe, the Secretary General of PMEASA and co-convener of the forum both expressed their hope that more women will join the leadership of port and maritime institutions and they would use their platforms to elevate the profile and voices of women, including creating a Ports of Excellence award category to recognize efforts to promote women in the industry. Mr. Gary  Dockerty, Director of Sales at the Dubai based SANMAR commended this initiative and stated that too often talent is dimished because of prejudice  and we must put a halt to such behaviors today and forever in Africa and the rest of the world. 

Speaking on behalf of the African Union, Mrs. Mahawa Kaba Wheeler expressed her gratitude and hope that more industries will follow in the footsteps of PMESA to mark 16 days of activism and conditions will be created to increase the number of women in leadership positions and share of business opportunities. She indicated that every step counted and the industry’s stance on zero tolerance on violence against women was commendable. Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Comoros and the Republic of Guinea have women leading their port and maritime operations.

Source: Saint Ange Consultancy

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