EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia)

Enhancing and supporting women’s role in security and maritime sectors is a vital part of Somalia’s development. Efforts to enhance opportunities for Somali women in their country’s maritime sector took a significant step forward recently with a national gathering aimed at establishing the next actions in this field.

EUCAP Somalia, together with the UN Mission to Somalia (UNSOM), is supporting the Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport (MPMT) and the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development (MWHRD) in implementing the Women in the Maritime Sector (WiMS) project.

Representatives from Somalia’s Federal and State governments, civil society and international partners attended the ‘National Consultative Conference on WiMS’, on Wednesday, 29 December 2021.

The meeting followed similar events in previous years that provided the platform for last week’s conference – the launching event, the ‘1st Consultative Conference for Women in Maritime Sector,’ held in September 2019; the 2nd ‘Women in the Maritime Sector’ Conference, held in March 2020; and a series of consultative meetings in each Federal Member State on 20-21 Oct (Jubaland), 20-30 Nov (Hirshabelle), 23-24 Nov 2021 (South West), 20-21 Dec (Galmudug) and 15-16 Dec (Puntland).

Last week’s National Consultative Conference on WiMS discussed Federal and State level proposals to empower women in the maritime sector for inclusion in a National Action Plan.

“No capacity can be built successfully and in a sustainable manner without women’s participation at all levels. For this reason, EUCAP Somalia considers of utmost importance the WiMS programme promoting women’s employment and empowerment in the maritime sector,” the Deputy Head of Mission of EUCAP Somalia, Dr. Fabian Loewenberg, said at the conference’s opening.

“The development of the Maritime Sector and the Blue Economy plays a key role in building a prosperous future for Somalia,” he added. “The creation of a National Action Plan for Women in the Maritime Sector, sensitive to the specific needs of each one of the Federal Member States, is the first milestone towards this goal which we continue to support.”

The ideas discussed at the conference included introducing scholarships for women offering free education in the maritime sector, drafting a common gender policy for the maritime sector in order to ensure more gender equality, enhancing the number of women in senior positions in the maritime sector, and organising communication campaigns to better spread information on the importance and opportunities which the Somali maritime domain offers.

As well as government and international partner representation, the event in Mogadishu drew 60 women participants from across Somalia. It was co-financed by EUCAP Somalia, which, together with the UN Mission to Somalia (UNSOM), is supporting the two lead ministries, the Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport (MPMT) and the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development (MWHRD), in implementing the WiMS initiative.

The WiMS consultation process will continue in early 2022 and will culminate in the finalization and approval of the National Action Plan, which is expected to be signed and published by the MPMT and MWHRD in early 2022. The next steps will then be to undertake outreach to international partners to identify ways of securing technical and financial support.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia).

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