Caribbean Shipping Association promoting gender equality
Women in shipping took centre stage on the final day of the Caribbean Shipping Association’s (CSA) 18th staging of the Caribbean Shipping Executives’ Conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel from May 20-21. ‘Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in the Caribbean Maritime Sector’ was highlighted as a joint project of the CSA and the Women in Maritime Association, Caribbean (WiMAC) in a presentation by Lisa Russell, WiMAC’s vice-president, women and development.
The joint project of the CSA and WiMAC has four main components: to educate, sensitise and build knowledge regarding gender rights as human rights and the dynamics of gender and the work-life balance within the sector; erode stereotypes and misinformation, gain allies and quell misconceptions about women taking over jobs; include male perspectives in research to better understand and address concerns regarding equality in the workplace; and to address cultural norms, innuendos and long-held understandings that prescribe and limit women’s work contributions.
In her presentation, Russell explained that WiMAC is a regional group of female maritime professionals committed to increasing the performance, participation and contribution of women in the maritime sector. The organisation is affiliated to Women in Maritime, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Gender Programme. The IMO is a United Nations specialised agency that promotes safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping through cooperation.
The proposed inputs by the CSA to the ‘Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in the Caribbean Maritime Sector’ project with WiMAC include assistance with identifying member entities that currently track data on women; support for member participation in a fact-finding questionnaire developed by the joint project committee, and building members’ knowledge and implementing strategies to include gender perspectives in its work.
Commenting on the joint project with WiMAC, Juan Carlos Croston, president of the CSA, said, “This partnership reflects the CSA’s continued and deepening support to WiMAC and our commitment to broadening and strengthening areas of cooperation and joint participation in programmes that promote the institutional strengthening of shipping in the Caribbean.”
The Caribbean Shipping Executives’ Conference is the first of two conferences hosted by the CSA annually. The CSA is the voice of the Caribbean shipping industry and was established in 1971 to facilitate the development of an efficient, viable Caribbean shipping Industry. Conferences hosted by the CSA provide a forum in which matters relevant to the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed.