Celebrating International Women’s Day

The WCO ESA ROCB Director, Mr. Larry Liza joined the world in celebrating International Women’s Day 2017. He congratulated all the women in Customs and joined the World Customs Organization is currently celebrating the IWD 2017 during the session of the Capacity Building Committee. The theme of the celebrations is ‘Women in Customs’. Key note addresses were delivered by Mr. Sergio Mujica, WCO Deputy SG, H. E. Grace M. Mutale Kabwe, Ambassador of Zambia to Belgium and Mrs. Sigfridur Gunnlaugsdottir, the Chairperson of the WCO Intenrity Sub-Committee, Iceland Customs.

H.E. Grace Kabwe saluted the role of the women in Customs and challenged them to remain bold, faithful and true in the delivery of their duties. Her speech highlighted the place of gender equality and the need to empower women towards meeting the SDGs. She shared Zambia’s experience, saluting the progress made by her nation towards up lighting women. She called for greater integration of women in more leadership roles. She saluted the WCO women leaders, including Ana Hinojosa, the Director of Compliance and Facilitation, and Ms. Brenda Mundia, the Deputy Director, Capacity Building.

Mrs. Gunnlaugsdottir also challenged the women remain steadfast in their duties, and called on all companies to recognize the critical roles played by women across the societies. The decried the delay in meeting basic gender equality concerns, and urged the replication of positive measures in Customs. She shared the experice of Iceland over the years, and that Iceland’s top management now has a higher number of women, sharing in the phrase, ‘The glass ceiling has been broken!’

During the ceremony, Terese Martinez, from Belize, was awarded a Masters degree in Customs Administration.

We wish all the women of East and Southern Africa, and the world, a Happy International Women’s Day.