Mainstream gender into ocean science management
The Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori- Asiamah, has called for the introduction of policies that can help both men and women to actively participate in driving the development of ocean science management by 2030.
He maintained that mainstreaming gender at all levels of ocean science would promote gender equality in all aspects of the marine industry globally.
The minister, in a speech read on his behalf at an event to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) in Accra on March 8, said there was the need to put in place measures geared towards enabling women to play transformative and ambitious roles in understanding, exploring, protecting and sustainably managing the ocean.
The event, which was on the theme, “Embrace equality,” focused on diversity and maritime security, which were critical for the sustainable development of the global maritime industry.
It was organised by the United Kingdom’s Department of Transport in collaboration with Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA).
The event attracted delegates from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and the United Kingdom (UK).
Delivering the minister’s speech, the Director in charge of Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Transport (MoT), Irene Messiba, stated that gender mainstreaming was a strategy, an approach and a means to achieve the goal of gender equality.
“I am very proud that in recent times, a lot of women are showing interest in the maritime industry, with a number of them occupying senior management positions in the country.
“It is obvious that we still have a lot more to do to ensure diversity and promote equality in the sector,” he said.
A Maritime Security Liaison Officer of the United Kingdom’s Department of Transport, Patricia Davis, said the UK government would continue to support women across various areas in the maritime industry.
She said that the UK government had designed deliberate policies to encourage both men and women to take active roles in the maritime industry.
In her welcome address, the President of WIMOWCA, Sylvia Asana Owu, pointed out that women have faced significant barriers to entry, ranging from access to education, training and career advancement opportunities.
As a result, she said women have been underrepresented in all areas of the maritime industry.
"Fortunately, in recent years, the industry has made significant progress in promoting gender diversity and inclusion with many organisations launching initiatives to raise awareness and support women to pursue careers in maritime," Ms Owu said.
She challenged organisations and individuals working in the maritime industry to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion.
"We should work together to eliminate barriers to entry and advancement for women in maritime.
We should also advocate for equal pay and opportunities for women in the sector," she stressed.