Sun | Feb 23, 2020

Empowered Women Serving Others

Published:Tuesday | August 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Shipping Association of Jamaica's (SAJ) President, Denise Lyn Fatt presenting her speech to the students at the closing ceremony of the Women in Maritime Association of Jamaica’s Underwater Robotics Summer Camp that was held at the Grace Kennedy S.T.E.M. Centre recently.

 Shipping Association of Jamaica's President, Mrs Denise Lyn Fatt presented a speech to the students at the closing ceremony of the Women in Maritime Association of Jamaica's Underwater Robotics Summer Camp that was held at the GraceKennedy STEM Centre recently. Here are excerpts from her speech.

I would like to bring warmest greetings from the members of the Shipping Association of Jamaica. We salute the excellent work of the Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC) on the occasion of the successful completion of your youth empowerment summer project.

In placing the human element and capacity building high on its agenda, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) recognises that the shipping industry must reach out to every sector of the community if it is to attract the very best people to pursue a maritime career. IMO, therefore, takes specific measures, through its strategic planning and at the operational level of technical cooperation, to promote the increased participation of women in the maritime sector. This is reflected in the organisation's strategic plan and through its high-level action plan, which refers specifically to "strengthening the role of women in the maritime sector", while, at the operational level, the programme for the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector remains the primary vehicle for supporting the UN Millennium Development Goal Number 3 to "Promote gender equality and empower women". In response to this, the seventh Women in Maritime Association chapter in the Caribbean was formed in April 2015.


Creating Channels for Empowerment


Since its establishment, the WiMAC has been creating channels for empowerment across the region by hosting a capacity-building conference, fundraising for women's development and the establishment of projects to edify the communities which can receive the greatest benefit from their interventions.

Ladies and gentlemen, what we are witnessing today, is that empowered women serve others. The women of the Caribbean have been empowered by the endorsement of the International Maritime Organization and now, they have strategised to pass on the empowerment to the next generation. WiMAC has brought together resources from non-governmental organisations, the private sector, government entities and volunteers to serve the young people of Jamaica satisfying several of the United Nations Strategic Development Goals.

First, this summer camp satisfies Strategic Development Goal number 8, decent work and economic growth - as this knowledge will empower these young persons to better access the kinds of jobs that constitute decent work and lead to economic growth for Jamaica.

Second, the project satisfies Strategic Development Goal number 10 - gender equality - as young men and women have been working together, shoulder to shoulder, creating their robots and preparing them for competition. In many circumstances, robotics has been seen as a way to reach young men rather than a means of capacitating both genders simultaneously. We salute the WiMAC team for using robotics as a tool to promote equality of opportunity for both genders.

Third, this initiative satisfies Strategic Development Goal Number 16 peace, justice and strong institutions -as we have engaged these young men and women in meaningful edifying activities for three weeks, in what could be the most important summer of their young lives. Keeping the hands, minds and hearts busy and focused on educational activities which had made them unavailable for idleness. They have been kept engaged in meaningful activity and have been unavailable to produce violence or to join others in gangs.

And this initiative undeniably has satisfied Strategic Development Goal number 17 partnership for the goals as this project has brought several partners together to carry out this empowerment project.

Once again, I hail the excellent work of the Women in Maritime Caribbean team and their partners and volunteers for using their own empowerment as a tool to empower others.