PacWIMA fact file


The Pacific Women in Maritime Association (PacWIMA) is the principal, regional interactive forum for Pacific women employed in the maritime sector to discuss and debate issues of concern to the region’s maritime industry as well as to promote solutions and opportunities to overcome challenges faced by women in the wider maritime sector.

PacWIMA Establishment

PacWIMA was established in February, 2005 with assistance from the Regional Maritime Programme (RMP) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). The inaugural meeting took place in Suva, Fiji Islands, from 21 – 24 February, 2005. The concept of a regional association for Pacific women in maritime arose at a regional seminar on the “Role of Women in the Maritime Sector: Opportunities and Challenges’, organised by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) via its Technical Cooperation Division in Apia, Samoa from 8 – 10 October, 2003. The Regional Maritime Programme was requested to assist in setting up a Pacific islands maritime women’s association and also to assist with the preparation of a newsletter.

In 2005 SPC RMP in association with IMO, organised a regional meeting in from 21 – 24 February, 2005 to specifically launch the Pacific Women in Maritime Association (PacWIMA), with the view to adopt relevant articles of association and a biennial workplan with associated responsibilities. This regional meeting involved women representatives from the region who were employed in the maritime sector. Given that there is a regional commitment to gender equality, and a Pacific Platform for Action that forms a regional counterpart to the global commitment to sustainable development through empowering women, it is important that there is a coordinated approach for keeping women employed in the maritime sector informed of opportunities or emerging issues such as security concerns. The formation of PacWIMA is therefore a step in moving ahead in the desired direction, bringing together women from the region’s maritime sector to raise the overall profile of Pacific women in maritime.


PacWIMA aims to:

1.                  promote overall development of the maritime sector in the Pacific.

2.                  advocate gender equity in the Pacific maritime sector.

3.                  promote education, training and career opportunities for Pacific women linked to the maritime sector.

4.                  increase the recognition of social responsibilities relating to Pacific women in the maritime sector.

5.                  promote cooperation, friendship and understanding through the exchange of knowledge and the dissemination of information.

6.                  promote safe, secure and efficient shipping and cleaner oceans.


The Association has an Executive Committee which consists of the Association Chair and five other representatives elected by the plenary at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) plus an ex-officio appointed from RMP by virtue of her/his office. The Association has four Trustees who hold office for a period of five years. Secretariat and treasurer functions are retained by SPC RMP.

Secretariat and Treasurer Functions

RMP’s functions as the secretariat and treasurer for PacWIMA includes facilitating AGMs by the distribution of notices of meeting(s), the development of agendas from topics submitted by representatives, scheduling of technical speakers, photocopying and the distribution of information packages on agenda items, development, printing and distribution of minutes of meetings and any other secretarial duties requested by the Association. RMP also produces and disseminates the PacWIMA newsletter to all PacWIMA members and other interest groups. PacWIMA seeks funding for projects independent of RMP but all financial transactions and submission of donor reports are handled by RMP. 


There are four categories of members, namely regular, associate, corporate and honorary. Regular members are from a Pacific Island Country or Territory (PICT) that is a member of SPC and includes women employed in the maritime industry as well as maritime students. Associate members are persons actively involved in the wider maritime sector. Corporate members are organisations or associations actively involved in the maritime sector and Honorary membership may be conferred to an individual at an Annual General Meeting of the Association.


PacWIMA works in close collaboration with government ministries, namely the Fiji Islands Maritime Safety Administration (FIMSA), Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Education as well as other non-governmental organisations such as AIDS Task Force Fiji and the World Wide Fund for Nature South Pacific Programme. In addition, PacWIMA Fiji members have close links with the Fiji Institute of Technology’s School of Maritime Studies in implementing their activities in rural coastal communities and the University of the South Pacific’s Faculty of Islands and Oceans.

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