The first of its kind, this new regional initiative, launched in June 2021 by CCP's team in the Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), aims to connect all women officers working at CCP Port Control and Air Cargo Control Units (PCU and ACCU), as well as relevant women customs and law enforcement officials in the region for regular activities. During virtual sessions, participants have the opportunity to discuss the challenges they face in their daily work, attend special coaching sessions facilitated by peers and external experts, and jointly develop a roadmap on how to make the CCP more women-friendly and inclusive in MENA.
The first session conducted under this initiative brought together women PCU/ACCU officers from Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. Participants had the opportunity to discuss their personal experiences, challenges and persistent obstacles to their career progression in the sector. A gender survey conducted prior to the session allowed for a targeted discussion focused on participants’ specific areas of concern and stimulated the debate. The meeting also featured keynote speaker Isabel Koch, Director of the Roland Berger Alumni Network, who spoke about the power of networking for women's professional development and offered guidance on how to improve their networking skills.
As a follow-up to this discussion, and based on feedback from participants, the initiative organized its first inter-regional study visit in November 2021. Twelve women working in CCP units and other customs and law enforcement agencies in the MENA region travelled to the Dominican Republic to meet their counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic. In Santo Domingo, the participants visited the Ports of Caucedo and Haina and meet with fellow PCU officers, as well as port authorities and officers from other agencies working at the seaports.
Other activities included a tour of the General Customs Directorate (DGA) headquarters, where the participants met with the Director-General and an all-women team of department heads, leading areas of particular relevance to the work of the CCP, such as Operations, Intelligence, Cargo Risk, among others. On the final day of the study visit, participants took part in a specialized professional leadership training for women, bringing together both CCP officers in MENA and their Dominican counterparts working in national customs. Through the analysis of a case study, they discussed barriers to career advancement common to both regions and exchanged insights on how best to address these challenges.
The CCP Women's Network continues to devise new ways to promote the role of women in the region through innovative approaches. Stay tuned for updates on future activities!