Senator Saraki, Others to Speak on Fair Future for Female Seafarers

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  • As FESAN partners Women in Maritime Journalism to push for policies that encourage more female participation
  • (By Udeme Clement):

The Honourable Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, will on Thursday, June 15, 2021, address stakeholders in the maritime sector on, “Fair Future for Female Seafarers.”

A statement signed by the President of Female Seafarers Association of Nigeria (FESAN), Ms Koni Duniya, said that the Minister will present the keynote address, at a webinar organised by the group to commemorate the International Day of the Seafarer.

Themed: “Fair Future for Female Seafarers”, the event will hold virtually at 10am.

Speakers include Captain Sunday Umoren- Secretary-General of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU); Captain Blessing Edidiong Abalo- First Female Master Mariner; and Mr Henry Agbodjan-the Human Resources Manager, Nigerian Ship Management Limited (NSML) amongst others.

According to Duniya, the event is one of the organisation’s contributions towards addressing the disproportionate representation of females onboard vessels in Nigeria.

She said; “the theme for the event, which tallies with the international topic aims at addressing questions of gender biases which, stem from stereotypes displacing the female gender in the Maritime Industry and the Seafaring profession.

“Most employers are not aware that there are female seafarers, who are qualified and ready to work. Our expectation is for them to acknowledge our existence as females starting a career in this (Maritime) industry. You can imagine going to school to obtain certificates and the certificates expire because you can’t get a job as a result of your gender.

“We want an end to that and the deplorable onboard working conditions as well. We want improvement in that area. When you get to the schools, you see that most of the girls do well in class. So, if they can do well in class, that means they can do well at work”, Duniya said.

She stated; “though employee commitment to work differs from person to person, the few companies employing female seafarers have testified that majority of them performed their jobs with as much professional expertise as their male counterparts.

“It is important to know that male or female, when you employ a set of workers, the approach and commitments to work differ. Overtime, you see that female employee works with as much professionalism 100 percent of the time. Some people can come 100 work and they are disconnected from the work, while some people work like their lives depend on the job” .

She informed; “Part of what we do as an organisation is to mentor females, such that when one person gets a job, we expect that she performs so well that her employers come looking for the other sisters without a job. We keep encouraging them that “hardwork is the way out””.

Duniya explained that FESAN is partnering with Women in Maritime Journalism (WIMAJ), to push for development of policies that encourage females, who have chosen to work in the maritime industry.

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