Liberia IMO Rep Pushes for More Women in Maritime

MONROVIA-As the world celebrates the first International Day for Women in Maritime, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Moses Owen Browne has called for the inclusion of more women in the areas of training and placement in the global maritime industry.

In his remarks delivered as part of programs marking the official celebration of the International Day for women in Maritime, Browne stressed the need for the government of Liberia and its international partners to develop programs and projects that will promote and advance Women in the Maritime sector.

The International Day for Women in Maritime was set aside by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in December 2021 to celebrate women in the global maritime industry. The day is also intended to promote the recruitment, retention, and sustained employment of women in maritime by strengthening IMO’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Gender Equality) and support work to address the current gender imbalance in the maritime sector.

Ambassador Browne challenged Maritime stakeholders and industry leaders to ensure the promotion of gender diversity, including providing jobs for women who are trained in marine sciences and engineering, prioritizing measures related to diversity and inclusion in their business plans, notifying manning agencies of their corporate diversity and inclusion policy, introducing flexible working patterns, ensuring suitable onboard accommodation for women seafarers, among others.

For more women to get encouraged to venture into the field of Maritime, the Liberia Maritime Diplomat proposed that the government subsidizes Universities and training institutions offering courses in Marine Engineering and Sciences.

“We need more women in the global maritime industry”, he mentioned. “Whilst we hailed the increasing number of females venturing into the field, we still think the number is low for a number of reasons, tedious admission process, lack of awareness, and limited courses that encourage women”, he said.

He lamented “we don’t just need women to be cleaners, cooks, and or servants on the ships. We want women to be captains, sailors, seafarers, engineers, mechanics, and radio and communications operators, we want them to be career and trained seafarers that navigate the vessels on high seas”.

He highlighted that since the reopening of the Liberia Maritime Training Institute in 2017, the school has graduated only eight (8) females: four (4) graduated last April 2022 from the 2nd batch of Marine Engineering and four (4) from the 2019 Class the first post-war class.

Women represent 1.2% of the global seafarer workforce according to BIMCO/ICS 2021 Seafarer Workforce Report.

Even though the figure represents a positive trend in gender balance, with the report estimating 24,059 women serving as seafarers, which is a 45.8% increase compared with the 2015 report, there’s still much more that needs to be done.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been making a concerted effort to help the industry move forward and support women to achieve a representation that is in keeping with twenty-first-century expectations.

The Permanent Representative of Liberia to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) based in London, United Kingdom congratulate all women in the maritime sector for making significant strides and urged them to continue to raise awareness on issues affecting them.

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