Women in the maritime industry have been advised to continuously build capacity in a digital space for themselves in furtherance to be relevant and compete favourably with male counterparts at their respective organisations.
President of President Women In Maritime (WIMAFRICA), Mrs. Rollens Macfoy made this known at a programme put together by the Senior Staff Association OF Shipping, Clearing & Forwarding Agencies (SSASCFA) maiden women seminar and award ceremony on Friday in Lagos.
Macfoy who was a keynote speaker at the event reiterated that with the theme , “Navigating New Horizons: Empowering Women in the Digital Maritime Era”, more than 90% of new jobs worldwide require digital skills, hence women must occupy their rightful positions in their workplace.
The maritime expert urged women in the shipping Industry to look inward and bridge the digital gender gap as the new normal pointing out that globally, females make up only 29% of the STEM workforce.
She added that 49% of the world still lacks internet access, mostly in developing and underdeveloped countries, especially uneducated women.
From Left: CEO Oceandeep Maritime Services, Mrs Rollens Macfoy, Chairperson SSASCFA Women Commission,Mrs. Okeya Bassey and Barr. Kanabi at the event on Friday in Lagos
Macfoy who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer, Oceandeep Maritime Services Limited, noted that there is no doubt that technology has become the order of the day, and as suchthe act or action of empowering someone especially women to have the capability to perform various duties must be encouraged.
Lamenting on shortfalls on women participation in the digital space, she stressed that girls in rural areas often face gender-based restrictions on the use of information and communication technologies noting that this has become imperative to help women become leaders and active agents of change.
She affirmed, that “Digital technology, therefore, is a fundamental force for change in this century. It has come to reshape economics & governments while impacting every aspect of development.
“We must, therefore, do more and better to get these game-changing technologies into the hands of those who have been left farthest behind. (Especially women) .
“Therefore, digital tools are needed to boost women’s participation and leadership in the digital space.
“Digital technologies can enhance women’s access to finance, with mobile banking enabling them to avoid long journeys & queue.
“You will all agree with me that a technology enabled health care, can also improve health outcomes.
“E-commerce and technology based businesses offer women more flexibility, helping them to manage home responsibilities alongside paid work. If women can tap the full power of digital technologies, vital new opportunities are available.
Macfoy also stated that:”Gender equality is not just a basic human right. It is critical to development progress. Where women and girls can realize their rights and aspirations, growth is faster, and prosperity comes quicker.”
“This is why advancing gender equality is at the heart of the Sustainable goal.I am particularly proud that UNDP has partnered with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology on this important tech project in countries like Egypt to empower women entrepreneurs through information and communications technology.
“Their aim is to equip over 3500 women owners of handicraft enterprises in remote areas of Egypt.I am very much looking forward to hearing that the government Nigeria will follow suit.
“It is clear however, that we all need more programmes, more partnerships, more resources to ensure that the digital power is in the hands of women and girls – and that they are connected and empowered to create the better, brighter and more sustainable futures that this world needs.
Addresses gender gaps in digital access and skills. Empowering women is essential to the health and social development of families, communities, and countries.
“When women are living safe, fulfilled and productive lives, they can reach their full potential. contributing their skills to the workforce and can raise happier and healthier children.”