President of the Solomon Islands Women in Maritime Association, Cathy Nori.
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PRESIDENT of the Solomon Islands Women in Maritime Association, Cathy Nori is encouraging more women to join the Maritime sector as the country commemorates the annual International Day of the Seafarer in Honiara on Monday.

Cathy said there is a growing demand in the maritime industry, however, females only comprise a minority of the sea-based workers in the domestic shipping and transport market.

“Solomon Islands Women in Maritime Association (SIWIMA) has few women in the Association. We have been trying to get more women into this industry to work in vessels.

“Local seafarers have stayed isolated for quite a long time now so the few women in the marine industry are calling out to women and girls out there encouraging them to come out and join in the industry as seafarers.

“Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to urge women and girls who are interested in maritime to come out and start your training. Seafarer is a good career because you feel that you contribute very well to the development of the country and despite the challenges and the anonymous roles and responsibilities that have been played, you are impacting the economy of the nation and the world,” she told SOLOMON WOMEN.

Being in a male-dominated industry, Cathy also advised women to be determined and passionate, saying that one of the fundamental objectives of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is to promote gender equality and encourage women in seafaring and maritime leadership.

“One of the main aims of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is to ensure the maritime industry is gender balanced and so that is why I am making the call.

“Both genders must also be given equal opportunities for recognition as long as they are committed to contributing to this sector,” the SIWIMA first-ever elected President added.

At the same time, she emphasized her understanding and belief of the challenges to ensure that gender is balanced in the country’s growing maritime industry.

“The challenge still faced today is the way and how ships are made which does not provide the environment for women to work on board a ship. For example, there is only one bathroom, and one toilet room, and the rooms contain 2 bunk beds.

“So if you put a woman into that room then she will occupy that whole room leaving you to have 3 fewer crewmen. So we need more women to come in so that there will be more women seafarers in a vessel,” Cathy argued.

SIWIMA was created over the years as a platform or a mouthpiece in terms of advocating issues for women and push for issues concerning them (women), who are engaged in the maritime industry.

Meanwhile, SOLOMON WOMEN understands that more women are joining the maritime ranks which are changing the landscape of Solomon Islands once male-dominated sector.

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