Honouring the first Maltese female master mariners

Reference Number: PR182099, Press Release Issue Date: Oct 01, 2018

​Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg and Minister for European Affairs
and Equality Helena Dalli celebrated the first Maltese female master mariners at the Excelsior Hotel
in Floriana.
Minister Ian Borg opened the ceremony by saying that it was a privilege for him to be able to be
present for such a historical moment. The achievement of Malta’s first group of female master
mariners is to be considered a pivotal moment for Malta’s rich maritime tradition. The minister
continued by saying that gender equality is not just a women’s issue. In commerce, a diverse
workforce benefits all and thus this also becomes an economic issue. He went on to say that studies
have in fact shown that gender equity can help unlock business potential, bringing to enterprises and
industries higher innovation and business performance.



Minister Borg congratulated the female mariners for being able to break the rigid gender roles that
exist in the maritime industry, with specific reference to seafaring. He explained that although the
situation in general in this industry is not so bleak with respect to female representation in shorebased
roles, unfortunately the seafaring activity still lags behind. When it comes to this specific

activity, the challenges to gender equality tend to multiply even on an international level. Therefore,
it becomes important to work hard and to reflect on how empowering women can be made possible.

“These women are today making history and it is an honour for our country and for myself, as minister
responsible also of the maritime sector, to be part of this history. Today’s ceremony is a way to honour
these five trail blazing captains—this is their moment and they deserve it. My duty is now to ensure
that more women are empowered in the maritime industry, which is an important industry for our
country. Malta has already negotiated the inclusion of the Sustainable Development Goals within the
IMO’s strategic framework. We must continue striving to ensure that the role of women, not only in

the maritime sector, but across all sectors, is highlighted”, concluded Minister Borg.

Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli augured that this would be the first step
towards parity with the male counterparts in this sector which has traditionally been dominated by
“We need to extend our openness to gender equality in the maritime sector and beyond not least
because equality harnesses both social and economic benefits. In fact, I attribute many of the
successes of this government to the fact that we are mainstreaming gender equality”, said Minister
Dalli. She concluded by saying that this is also why the government not only encourages female
participation across all spheres, but makes this further possible through its policies across the board.
Captain Abigail Xerri, Captain Carmen Darmanin, Captain Jacqueline Spiteri and Captain Laura
Falzon received a memento for their achievement from Minister Ian Borg while Captain Pauline

Bonnici was excused.