In many languages, every noun has a gender. Things that do not have any literal gender are assigned a gender that made sense to whoever invented the word.
English does not have gender, at least not as an explicit part of the language, like different endings on a noun for different genders. Nevertheless, English-speakers do sometimes still assign gender to inanimate objects, institutions, etc, for purposes of using pronouns. I think for the most part this has become obsolete. Inanimate objects, etc, are now almost always referred to as "it". Perhaps the last hold-out is boats and ships, which are still fairly often called "she".
Some people call any vehicle -- car, plane, train, etc -- "she". Older documents and some traditionalists will call a nation or a government "she", as here. It's pretty rare these days, I think, but not unheard of.