Empowering Somali women in maritime sector calls for joint efforts and cooperation of several actors that include, but not limited to, Federal ministries, international partners and civil society activists. Since the Consultative Conference for Women in Maritime sector, held in September 2019, this cooperation has brought outstanding results.
‘Women in the Maritime Sector’ workshop, convened by the Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport and the Ministry of Women and Human Rights on 12 March, 2020 in Mogadishu built on the conclusions from the Consultative Conference for Women in Maritime Sector held in 2019. This workshop, supported by EUCAP Somalia and UNSOM, offered a platform for the two organising Ministries and representatives from the Ministries of Fisheries, Finance, Planning and International Cooperation, Education, Justice and Internal Security to discuss about the comprehensive Action Plan for Empowering Women in the Maritime Sector. All these ministries participated in the drafting of the Action Plan which reflects the strong commitment of the Federal Government on this subject.
In his opening remarks at the workshop, EUCAP’s Head of Operations Jorge Caseiro underlined the importance of promoting women´s meaningful participation at all levels as a key enabler for the development of stronger economies which will improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities. He also reminded the participants on the importance of striving towards the internationally agreed goals and the implementation of the Somalia´s National Development Plan (2020 – 2024).
Enhancing women’s participation is a long process which requires contribution from all the actors especially in the pivotal implementation phase of the Action Plan which will be further discussed later in 2020. The atmosphere in the workshop was hopeful and full of keen engagements. During the plenary session, when one of the participants pondered that fishing is hard work which requires the physical strength of a man, another replied that she is the one who usually pulls the anchor whenever she goes to sea with male colleagues.
EUCAP Somalia’s Advisor to Somali Maritime Administration also reiterated the importance of cooperation, stating that lessons learnt and views expressed in the workshop needed to be strengthened by working together. Cooperation, utilising the capacities of different Government departments, will eventually realise the promise which was the theme of the workshop printed on the folders: Somalia – An Ocean of Opportunities.
EUCAP Somalia will continue to support the relevant Ministries in taking the agenda forward and in monitoring the progress made.