Pacific Transport Ministers Launch Global Srategy to Empower Women and Girls in Maritime


Apia, Samoa – The Regional Strategy for Pacific Women In Maritime (2020-2024) was launched by the  Minister of Finance, Hon.  Sili Epa Tuioti calling political leaders and policy maker’s to support equal opportunities for women in the maritime sector.

“Women are overrepresented in low level and general service and administration positions in the sector & there are very few female seafarers serving on-board vessels. There is this persistent perception that it is improper for women to work in the maritime sector but this strategy actively supports more inclusive and safe working opportunities for all women,” he said.

More than 16,000 people work in the Pacific maritime sector. Recent research shows 11 percent or 1,855 of these are women however less than 2 percent work on vessels.

This strategy is aimed at improving these numbers and creating diversity across all roles within the sector itself whilst building technical expertise and competencies with an emphasis on education and leadership support.

The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Director- Geoscience, Energy & Maritime Division Dr Andrew Jones officiated the launch and commended the work being led by the Maritime sector.

“This strategy was a direct request by Pacific Transport Minister’s in 2017.  They urged us at the previous Ministerial to support and build a more enabling environment for women in the Maritime Sector.  We know diversity is good for business across all fields and this strategy is a way we can ensure diversity and inclusivity for Pacific women in one of the most critical sectors in the region,” he said.

It is envisaged implementing the strategy will mobilise young girls and women to embrace maritime careers and contribute to the sustainable economic development of the Pacific.

The launch was attended by Transports Ministers, Heads of Transport and Maritime Administrations, Private Sector representatives,  regional organisations, development partners, PacWIMA Executive Committee and 9 of the established State Women In Maritime Association Presidents (Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea,  Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu).

The Pacific Community (SPC) is helping coordinate the implementation of the strategy in partnership with the Pacific Women In Maritime Association (PacWIMA). This will be done alongside the 10 State Women In Maritime Associations established across the region.

Background Information on Strategy:
The regional strategy vision is to strengthen and contribute to a sustainable maritime community by providing a more inclusive, safe working environment with equal opportunities; and fair treatment for all Pacific women working in the Maritime Sector.

It is supported by three key strategic pillars:

  1. Recognition of leadership and contribution of women in the maritime sector
  2. Visibility of women in the maritime sector
  3. Capacity building for women in the maritime sector 

PacWIMA will implement monitoring and reporting progress of the strategy with the support of its partners, IMO and SPC.

You can access the Regional Strategy for Pacific Women In Maritime (2020-2024) here.