Tema, March 17, GNA - Captain Catherine Haizel, Country Inspector of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), on Wednesday called on government and players in the Port and Maritime Industry to institute policies to allow for broader and increased women participation.
She said stakeholders must create a conducive environment for more women to participate and thrive in the maritime industry, in spite of the challenges in the shipping sub-sector that deterred women from pursuing a career at sea.
Capt Haizel stated this during media interaction at Tema on the back of the recently commemorated International Women’s Day.
She called for a broader dialogue to ensure that women were better represented in the industry.
Capt. Haizel, who is a veteran mariner and retired Senior Lecturer at the Regional Maritime University, said players in the shipping industry must ensure that ship owners improved working conditions on vessels to make it more gender friendly.
She suggested the provision of separate restroom facilities on vessels to enable women work comfortably.
“For instance, in some countries Supervisors of Deck Officers engaged in loading and offloading cargo refuses to take instructions women superiors, “these men will retort I don’t take orders from women,” she said.
She said it was a worrying trend that ought to be nipped in the bud.
Capt. Haizel, who is also a pioneering woman seafarer in Ghana called for more women participation in the nautical area of the maritime industry.
She said several courses including; marine engineering, nautical science, electronics, Port and Shipping administration were available at the Regional Maritime University for women to earn the requisite skills to work in the underexplored blue economy.
Ms Linda Vasnani, Chief Operating Officer of Consolidated Shipping Agencies, encouraged women to create schedules that would help them to keep a sustainable work-life balance as they pursued excellence in their respective careers.
She urged women to take advantage of opportunities in the industry, adding that women in the maritime industry must pursue careers in areas like crane and truck operation which had not seen significant women participation.
Ms Vasnani said the remarkable successes of some women in the port and maritime industry was testament of the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination and gender inequalities in the industry.
Ms Perpetual Osei-Bonsu, Executive Secretary, Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana, called for the provision of some ancillary facilities such as crèches within the working areas to ease the burden of working mothers in order to keep a healthy work-life balance.