Increasing Demand for Gender Equality in the Maritime Industry

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Women in the maritime sector are ready to compete with their male counterparts for leading roles in the industry, according to Anozie Egole. Currently, women make up less than 20% of licensed agents in the Nigerian maritime industry, often being limited to roles such as sales and food vendors. This is due to societal perceptions that women lack the physical and mental capabilities for certain tasks. However, research has shown that women are just as capable and often more diligent and committed when given the opportunity. The maritime sector is facing challenges that could be resolved by giving women equal opportunities to contribute to the industry.

Rollen Macfoy, the Nigerian Chapter Chairperson of Women in Maritime Africa, called for equal opportunities for women in the maritime sector. She urged the new Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, to prioritize capacity building for women and consider them in his appointments. Macfoy emphasized that African women in maritime are not being encouraged, resulting in a lack of representation. Damilola Adebimpe, Vice President of the Female Seafarers Association of Nigeria, highlighted the denial of opportunities for women in the sector. She stated that some Nigerian ship-owners do not accept female seafarers, citing a lack of facilities for women on board. Macfoy stressed the importance of women’s empowerment in the sector to enable their optimal functioning.

Eunice Ezeoke, Nigerian Chapter Chairperson of Women in Shipping and Transport Africa, advocated for women to hold leading positions in government agencies, particularly in the maritime sector. She emphasized that women should not only be limited to cleaning waterways but should also be policymakers, boardroom members, and agency heads. Ezeoke highlighted the financial challenges faced by women in professional associations and called for support from local, state, and federal governments. She emphasized the need for women to have a seat at the table in decision-making processes within the industry.

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