UN Women and partners promote women in male-dominated industry

Date: Thursday, September 13, 2018

UN Women, in partnership with the Maritime Transport Agency (MTA) of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and the Women’s Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA), has entered into partnership to promote women in the maritime industry.

Signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding. From left to right: Tamar Ioseliani, Director of the MTA, Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative in Georgia, Lali Khvedelidze, President of WISTA
Signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding. From left to right: Tamar Ioseliani, Director of the MTA, Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative in Georgia and Lali Khvedelidze, President of WISTA; Photo: The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

The Memorandum of Understanding among the three agencies was signed at the Georgia International Maritime Forum in Batumi on 13 September 2018.

“UN Women is excited to partner with the MTA and WISTA to support women’s opportunities in the male-dominated maritime industry,” stated Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative in Georgia. “Ensuring equal opportunities for women in various sectors of the labour market is one of our priorities. It is a win-win situation, where women have more opportunities to be economically empowered and [maritime] business benefits from a larger pool of talent.”

According to the International Transport Workers’ Federation, women account for only 2 per cent of the maritime industry’s labour force worldwide, and the situation is not much different in Georgia. During the next two years, the three partners will focus on promoting maritime professions among women and girls and engage with the maritime industry to attract female talent and to achieve a better gender balance.

Within the framework of the Memorandum, a new foundation will be created and named after the first known Georgian female seafarers, Vaide Gvarishvili, Nino Kalandadze, Julia Pailodze and Shushana Tumanishvili, who lived in the first half of the twentieth century. Every year, the foundation will cover the tuition of four female students at the maritime faculty of Batumi State Maritime Academy and will initially train 20 women across Georgia for jobs on cruise liners. Awareness-raising meetings to attract young girls in grades 10 and 11 to choose their future career in the maritime industry will be organized by the partners in selected localities throughout Georgia. In addition, UN Women will assist the respective government agencies and companies to integrate gender issues in their operations.

“With this Memorandum, we aim at empowering women in the maritime industry by supporting their education and employment, which is an important step forward in developing the competitiveness of the Georgian economy,” noted Tamar Ioseliani, Director of the MTA.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed within the framework of the project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia”, implemented by UN Women in partnership with and through the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.