PacWIMA was established in February 2005 under the guidance of IMO’s gender programme for women in the maritime sector, with the assistance from SPC’s Regional Maritime Programme (RMP), following an IMO regional meeting held in Samoa in 2003.
After a hiatus of 6 – 7 years due to financial constraints and many other factors, PacWIMA was re-launched in April 2016, through IMO, in collaboration with SPC, at a Regional Conference for Pacific Women in Maritime in Nuku'alofa, Tonga and attended by representatives from Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu, World Maritime University (WMU) and observers from Tongan administrations, the Tonga Maritime Training Institute, Port Authority of Tonga and private sector organizations.
The Conference adopted in principle, a Work Plan including the appointment of an Executive Committee to take necessary steps such as to:
.1 URGE governments to provide the policy, legislative and administrative frameworks required to empower women as stakeholders in the maritime sector and to facilitate their full participation as resources to the maritime sector;
.2 INVITE all maritime sector related employers, stakeholders and government entities to recognised and implement the provisions contained in international treaties pertaining to the equal treatment, empowerment and protection of women, particularly as regards to women seafarers on ships engaged in domestic and international trade;
.3 ENCOURAGE government entities with responsibility for women, education and employment strategies to address the issues of equal opportunities and career advancement for women to enable them to be active participants in the maritime sector;
.4 REQUEST development partners, international and regional organizations to work with PacWiMA in developing collaborative programmes to enhance the training opportunities for women in the maritime sector and allow for career progression;
.5 URGE all maritime sector employers to recognise the expertise and value of women as managers and personnel at all levels and to enable them to discharge their professional duties without undue hindrances;
.6 ENCOURAGE civil society and local communities to provide an enabling environment for women who aspire to train for, and work in, the maritime sector;
.7 UNDERTAKE to work with government entities, development partners, international and regional organisations to identify and collect relevant data and statistics on women employed across the different areas of the maritime sector;
.8 ADVOCATE for the development and provision of maritime transport services which are energy efficient to remote communities and serve the women who are engaged in Small Medium Enterprises.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF PACWIMA
Since the re-launch of PacWIMA in April 2016, with the assistance of SPC, PacWIMA has achieved the most imminent task as per the Work Plan, such as the:
(i) Development and adoption of State WIMA Constitution template in July 2016.
(ii) Development and adoption of the PacWIMA Logo.
(iii) Development and adoption of the PacWIMA Constitution in August 2016 and the signing of the same in September 2016.
(iv) Establishment of a Facebook page for the dissemination of information and an online interactive forum for issues relating to maritime affairs affecting women, girls including youth, and males in June 2016.
(v) Development of a State Work Plan Template aligned to PacWIMA Work Plan to ensure that there is conformity and link between PacWIMA and State WIMA’s and what is agreed at Regional level is trickled down to State level.
(vi) Development of the PacWIMA Website for the dissemination of information, highlighting activities within the region in April 2017 and seeks to maintain visibility by supporting existing regional networks for women, including discussions with key stakeholders in the maritime sector at both national and regional levels.
REGIONAL ACTIVITIES OF PACWIMA
Furthermore, with SPC’s invitation, the members of PacWIMA have participated in the following activities:
(i) the High-Level Shipping Consultation project in Vanuatu in May 2016;
(ii) the STCW audit for administrations and the Pacific Islands domestic ship safety audit conducted by SPC's Transport Programme in the Federated States of Micronesia in May 2016;
(iii) the Technical Assistance visit conducted by SPC's Transport Programme in the Solomon Islands in August/September 2016;
(iv) the STCW audit for the Samoa Administration in October 2016;
(v) the Heads of Maritime and Energy Regional Conference in December 2016.
(vi) the PIMC Governing Council Meeting and PIMC Safety and Training Sub-Committee Meeting in January 2017.
Some of the activities within the region include:
(i) PNGWIMA having its 3rd biannual conference in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in June 2016 under the theme "Women are better leaders then what they think," supplementing some of the key topics discussed and outcomes arising from the April 2016 Conference; namely, linkage of energy and transport efficiency and climate change – roles women play in addressing these emerging issues.
(ii) Fiji officially launching Women in Maritime (Fiji) (commonly referred to as Fiji WIMA) on the 28th September 2016 and with the support of the Maritime Administration and member Employers, participating in Fiji’s National Transport Consultative Conference as well as the National Ballast Water Management Workshop on the 29th and 30th November 2016.
(iii) Cook Islands launching the Cook Islands Women in Maritime Association (CIWiMA) at its inaugural general meeting on the 30th March 2017 where they also elected their Executive Committee.
(iv) Tonga had their first meeting on the 07th March 2017 and selected an Interim Committee to work on the Constitution draft, registration. On the 21st April, Tonga formally establishing Tonga Women In Maritime Association (Tonga WIMA) and will formally launch on the 27th April 2017 during the Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Minister's Meeting in Nuku'alofa.
(v) Solomon Islands have set up a working group and they are currently working on their Constitution and are onto the 2nd draft. Vanuatu – on the 08th December 2016, PacWIMA met with the women from the Vanuatu Maritime Affairs, Vanuatu Maritime College and the Executive Director of the Vanuatu National Council for Women and discussed strategies to establish Vanuatu WIMA. Tuvalu has selected the Executives of Tuvalu WIMA and intend to be formally launched in April 2017.
(vi) Women participation at the Asia Pacific Heads of Maritime Agency Meeting in March 2017. Women participation was sponsored by IMO as part of the work by IMO in promoting the integration of women in the maritime sector.
Constitution, Work Plan, Templates & Form
Ms. Mavis Joseph-Logavatu - Chairperson & IMO Technical Cooperation Officer, SPC.
Ms. Kelela Tonga - Member & Director for Marine & Ports - Marine Department, Tonga..
FUTURE ACTIVITIES OF PACWIMA
As part of its ongoing efforts and to fulfil its objectives, with SPC’s guidance, PacWIMA has drawn up a list of future activities –
(i) Developing the Regional Strategy for the empowerment and advancement of Women in the Pacific Maritime Sector – this is critical in setting the tone for PacWIMA’s overall goals, developing a plan to achieve them, areas of priority, monitoring and evaluation framework etc.)
(ii) PacWIMA recommendation for an IMO fellowship at WMU/IMO IMLI for an appropriately qualified woman from the Pacific Islands region;
(iii) Promoting the establishment of State WIMA’s and regional networks and identifying training and education opportunities to seek funding support with other development partners;
(iv) Sharing existing national frameworks for staff development plans (career paths) that are gender sensitive in the region, specific achievements, methods and funding solutions; mentorship programmes; identification of regional training opportunities inclusive of scholarships, secondment programmes, capacity-building programmes to match the specific needs and requirements of Pacific women in the maritime sector;
(v) Developing gender awareness training modules in close collaboration with the maritime training schools to be delivered in maritime trainings;
(vi) Developing a matrix of all principal actors and stakeholders within the maritime sector outlining their respective responsibilities and potential influence over the development of policies and systems relating to all aspect of gender equity;
(vii) Promoting a National Day for Pacific women in maritime;
(viii) Creating a link between the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and shipping agents/operators to support small businesses in remote communities by developing advisory packages including information on shipping services and shipping agents/operators contact;
(ix) Creating the link and liaising with international and regional bodies to promote energy efficiency tools for shipping; and
(x) Collaborating with SPC and IMO to host the next PacWIMA regional conference in April 2018.
Ms. Dinah Inape-Omenefa - Vice-Chairperson & Component 2 Assistant Manager - (Aviation & Maritime), Department of Transport, Papua New Guinea..
Ms. Tanny Saepio - Member & HR Pole and Line, National Fisheries Development, Noro Western Province, Solomon Islands.
Ms. Sidney Lui-Ikiua - Coordinator & Assistant Disaster Manager, National Disaster Management Office, Niue Police Department.
Ms. Jordanna Mareko - Public Relations & Communications & Communication Officer - Civil Society Support Program, Samoa.