Wed 29-05-2019 16:02 PM
DUBAI, 29th May, 2019 (WAM) -- The Arab Women in Maritime Association, AWIMA, recently held its first gathering in the UAE, in the presence of female representatives from both the government and private sectors, to raise awareness about the importance of empowering women and enhancing their presence in the maritime sector.
Speaking during the event, Hessa Al Malek, Executive Director of Maritime Transport for the Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime and the President of AWIMA, said, "With only two percent of those employed in the global maritime sector being women, balancing the gender scales is a lofty task, but one that I am excited to work on achieving."
"Our mission," she added, "is to increase employment opportunities for Arab women at senior management levels of the maritime transport sectors, develop partnerships and collaborate with national maritime administrations, regional entities, United Nations agencies and the private sector. We also aim to reinforce the engagement of women in the maritime sector."
The maritime industry has been known worldwide as a male-dominated sector, thereby making it difficult for women to join and function easily within the industry.
International organisations are exerting efforts to achieve an effective balance, where women will have the same presence in the industry as men do, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 of the United Nations. To that end, AWIMA’s main role is not just to empower females, but also to qualify them and present them with opportunities that will enhance their maritime careers.
"We all believe that women's participation is vital to this industry. Thanks to the advancement of technology, the demand for physical power has turned into a growing demand for brainpower, making it easier for women to fulfill their tasks in the industry. The maritime community should not only believe that women are talented and they can accomplish tough jobs, but they must also be given leadership roles within the industry. This can be achieved by equipping them with the right education, training and skills, in addition to empowering them," Al Malek continued.
AWIMA was established on 19th October 2017 under the patronage of the International Maritime Organisation, the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transports, and includes 11 Arab countries, including Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Algeria, Djibouti, Sudan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iraq and Libya.