“The maritime community itself is missing out on a huge talent pool if it fails to properly empower women in the workplace.” — Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General

This year’s celebration of the Day of the Seafarer is anchored to the theme, “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community,” relative to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 (Gender Equality) that aimed at putting into the women seafarer pedestal in shipping, that has been a male-dominated industry.

Spearheaded by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), dignitaries that included, among others: Philippine Ports Authority Port Management Office of Misamis Oriental (PMO MO/C), Philippine Coast Guard, PNP Maritime Group, Regional Maritime Unit -10; Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and different maritime schools in Cagayan de Oro and neighboring cities, gathered at the Capitol University gym on 25 June 2019 after the motorcade at 6:00 AM.

During the program, Atty. Casimiro B. Juarez Jr., the President of Capitol University, conveyed that the fight for women’s right has come a long way. At present, there are now more women enrolling in maritime schools and many are now working in on board ships. He told that the idea that women are inferior to men is an old age thought and that must be changed.

Two high-ranked women seafarers were invited as guest speakers who delivered their inspirational stories. They attested that women seafarer can be at par with their male counterparts in the maritime industry.

PMO MO/C Port Manager, Engr. Isidro V. Butaslac Jr. in his closing message remarked that  “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” is what the port and maritime community should live by. The courageous and equally capable and competitive women on board ships must be treated with respect and admiration.

As conveyed by IMO Secretary-General in his video message to all IMO member states, maritime stakeholders shall make this 2019 a year of action; a year to break down all barriers. He highlighted that SDG 5 on gender equality is one of the key platforms on which a sustainable future can be built. — IMR Lam