The Port of East London celebrated World Maritime Day at Latimer’s Landing last Thursday.
The day was created by the United Nations (UN) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 1978 to celebrate the maritime industry’s contribution to towards the global economy.
The global theme for 2019 was Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.
Representatives from a number of local businesses, organisations and government departments gathered at Latimer’s Landing to share their stories and experiences working as women within the maritime industry.
“They were then treated to a cruise around the harbour aboard one of the tugs. TNPA and Southern Cross Cruises also invited 200 East London children for a fun boat trip to mark the day.
“The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITWF) estimates that women make up just 2% of the global maritime workforce.
“For Transnet, as the largest and most crucial part of the freight logistics chain that delivers goods to each and every South African, women’s development is a priority,” TNPA acting chief executive Nozipho Mdawe said.
“Today, women occupy half of the top management positions nationally within TNPA. Three of our eight commercial ports have female port managers and women now fill 36% of all jobs across TNPA, bringing their unique characteristics to the workplace.”
Mdawe said TNPA would continue to push for increased women’s empowerment within the workplace in line with international commitments. In addition, the SA chapter of the Association of Women Managers in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa (WOMESA) will be relaunched at the end of the year.
“TNPA will be calling for membership soon and will be closely involved in the re-establishment of WOMESA to promote gender equity, improve women’s access to maritime training and technology and promote their advancement to key decision-making levels in the maritime sector in Eastern and Southern Africa,” she said.