Women's Conference Aims to Establish Caribbean Association
Jamaica is to host the Caribbean’s first-ever Women in Maritime Association Conference as a step towards establishing an IMO Women in Maritime Association (WiMA) for the region.
Taking place in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from April 13-17, the conference aims to support regional efforts to deepen the integration of women in the maritime sector by establishing a WiMA chapter to serve the Caribbean. Currently, WiMA operates regional chapters in the Middle East and North Africa, Asia, Philippines, East and Southern Africa.
A driving force of the program has been the establishment of formal regional connections between female maritime managers and port sectors with the goal of providing a permanent information exchange channel. Twenty-four Caribbean States have been invited to take part in the Women in Maritime Affairs Conference.
The IMO’s decision to establish a WiMA chapter in the Caribbean follows Jamaica’s participation in the 2nd International Conference on Maritime Women Global Leadership, hosted last year by the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden. The conference highlighted the benefits of such an organization, and one of the recommendations emanating from it was the need for the establishment of a national/regional association.
Following the conference and a subsequent approach from the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) to the IMO Secretary General, the IMO has committed its support to the Caribbean to enable the establishment of a regional association for female maritime professionals; this week’s conference is the first step towards achieving this goal.
“We are very excited to be hosting this important event on behalf of the wider Caribbean region,” MAJ Deputy Director General Claudia Grant said. “Women play an increasingly important role within the maritime sector, which is a significant economic driver for our region. We believe it is important to do everything we can to enable women to survive and thrive in the maritime industry and by working together in this way the whole Caribbean region is demonstrating the importance it places on women’s roles in this important and specialized sector.”