Discrimination against female seafarers. Hot topic of WISTA International


Women on ships still have to break stereotypes among the male part of the crew. Especially when they hold managerial positions on ships. Recognizing the problem of gender tensions, WISTA International, Anglo-Eastern Ship Management, the International Seafarers Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) conducted an online survey to find out how seafarers perceive ‘discrimination’ and how on board based on their personal experiences.

Over 1,100 women inform about discrimination

The study, using an online survey, was intended to determine how female seafarers perceive discrimination and how it manifests itself in working on a ship. The study placed particular emphasis on communicating personal experiences. The questionnaires were completed by 1,128 women from 78 countries.

Most of the respondents were from the Philippines (399). 98 surveys were completed by women on ships flying the US flag, 57 from Great Britain. Women from South Africa completed 51 questionnaires, from Brazil – 47. They were followed by women from India (41), Peru (36), Colombia (35) and Indonesia (35).

Discrimination on board

As many as 60% of women reported that they faced gender discrimination on board. 66% of respondents report that their employees have started harassing and intimidating co-workers. 25% of female shipboarders said that in the maritime transport sector, physical and sexual harassment is widespread, occurs on board and is an invasion of their privacy.

The analysis of the research results shows that discrimination is one of the main challenges that needs to be solved comprehensively in shipping.

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