Liberia Maritime Authority, Partners Celebrate First International Day for Women in Maritime

By: Laymah Kollie

Congo Town-May 15,2024: The Liberia Maritime Authority in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on May 15,2024 celebrated the 2024 International Day for Women in Maritime with a call to action for women empowerment and elevation in the sector.

The International day for Women in Maritime is observed on 18 May, every year.
The day celebrates women in the Maritime Industry. It is intended to promote recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the Maritime Sector, raise the profile of women in Maritime, strengthen the IMOs commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Gender Equality) and support work to address the current gender imbalance in the Maritime sector.

This year’s occassion is celebrated under the team “safe horizons: women shaping the future of Maritime safety” with Liberia’s national theme: “recognizing the crucial role of women in Maritime safety”.

As an International Maritime Organizations (IMO) member state, Liberia gathered for the first time to celebrate the remarkable contributions of Liberian Women in the Maritime Industry in observance of IMO International Day for Women in Maritime. The ceremony celebrates the outstanding dedication, resilience and expertise of Liberian women in Maritime.

Hon. Gbeme Horace-Kollie, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection served as keynote speaker for the occassion and stressed the importance of women participation in the sector.
”Women are to the maritime sector”

Admonishing the challenges women face in the sector, Min. Kollie called on the government of Liberia to create a safe space for women and men.

Adding, that it is incumbent upon all Government officials and stalkholders in the Maritime Community to lead a non-stop advocacy campaign in addressing these challenges and create a more inclusive enviroment where every individual, regardless of the gender can strive.

”Let us not forget the challenges women in Maritime continue to face. From Gender Based discrimination to unequal opporunity for career advancement.

The Minister of Gender urged leaders to work together collectively in bringing women at the front and shaping the enviroment for everyone.

”Let this International Day for women in Maritime lead a spring over action, together let us work towards a future where Liberian women are not only active participants, but also leaders in shaping the save horizon of our Maritime Industry.

Let us navigate towards a better horizon where women are not only passengers but also captains of their own destiny” Min. Gbeme Kollie lamented.

Furthermore, Hon. Robert W. Kpadeh , Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) stated that gone are the days when maritime institutions were man’s study or a space only dominated by men while women were subjected to lower levels.

He noted, that his office will continue to plead the case for great opporunities for Liberian women in the Maritime.

”We will work together, we will work deligently to ensure women are given equal tenure in this sector” Mr. Kpadeh said.
As your permanent representative, I want to assure you that I will be aggressively making the case so as to create oppornuity for women in training and employment for women. We want to see Liberian women on the Global scene”

Meanwhile, Cllr. Neto Zarzar Lighe Sr., Commissioner General of the Liberia Maritime Authority highlighted efforts being made by government to improve women participation in the Maritime sector . The Commissioner also applauded women in the sector for their level of commitment and excellence.

“The Liberia Maritime Authority will assist on empowering women by mentorship, and ensuring their comprehebsive involvement in the Maritime safety objectives and enhance Maritime commerce and services glöbally.

Recognizing the resilience of Liberia women in that area, the Maritime boss appreciated their commitment and unwavering pursuit of excellence.

“To the extraordinary women in Maritime, let me salute your commitment, your unwavering pursuit of excellence and your resilience”.

Other partners supporting the world maritime day for women included: National Port Authority, Liberia Immigration Service, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ministry of National Defense amongst others.

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