Speakers at a high-level panel discussion 'Empowering Women in Maritime and Oceans Diplomacy' praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's leadership to encourage women in the maritime industry including the induction of women into the marine academy.
The event was organised by the Bangladesh High Commission, London at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) recently.
High Commissioner for Bangladesh to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem, in her capacity of the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the IMO and the President of the Women in Diplomacy Network (WDN), London chaired the discussion participated and attended by more than 100 delegates including Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Permanent Representatives to the IMO, senior officials and experts.
Highlighting the lower visibility of women in the global maritime industry, the High Commissioner said that among the 1.2 million certified seafarers worldwide, women represent only 1.28%. Similarly, women constitute only 2% of the crewing workforce in the cruise industry.
High Commissioner Tasneem took pride in Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visionary decision to induct women cadets in the Marine Industry, and said, "Due to the Prime Minister's visionary leadership, over 100 female seafarers and mariners are recruited annually for a range of roles, including Navigation Officers, Marine Engineers, and even senior management positions such as Captain. These transformative efforts have made a significant impact in promoting gender diversity in the traditionally male-dominated maritime industry."
The envoy expressed the strong commitment of the WDN to working in close collaboration with the IMO Secretariat, fellow members of the IMO, the Women's International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA International), Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs), and leading shipping industry associations including BIMCO to promote gender equality and to amplify the voices of women in the maritime sector.
A documentary prepared by the Bangladesh High Commission, London on the contribution of women mariners and seafarers in Bangladesh as well as globally was shown at the event that drew special attention and praise from the participants.
The panellists of the high-level discussion included Dorota Lost Sieminska, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, Dr Farah Faizal, High Commissioner of Maldives to the UK, Sophie Kastrava, Ambassador and PR to the IMO for Georgia, Karen-Mae Hill OBE, High Commission for Antigua and Barbuda, Ambassador Nancy W Karigithu, Principal Secretary, State Department for Shipping and Maritime, Kenya, Maryanne Adams, Technical Adviser of Marshall Island to IMO and Chair of IMO subcommittee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers, Fernanda Millicay, PR of Argentina to the IMO, Jared Banks, US PR to the IMO, Hayat Al Yabis, APR of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and Elizabeth Stewart , Editor of Embassy magazine London talked at the event.