The policy guidelines for women seafarers
employment made by IWSF was released across the world for the first time ever
by DG shipping Dr. Malini V. Shankar, IAS, Director General of Shipping &
Secretary to Government of India at“Vision
Connect-Mumbai 2018”. The Event was graced by Dr.
Malini V. Shankar, IAS, Director General of Shipping & Secretary to Government
of India and released the policy guidelines for Women Seafarers Employment.
Dr. Sujata Naik Tolani, Chairperson,
Tolani Shipping Co. Ltd. And Mr. Suresh Sinha, Managing Director, Indian
register of Shipping as guest of honor were part of the release of the Policy
guidelines sending a unique message to Maritime Industry and that how for cause
of Women seafarers Ship Owner, Regulator and classification society can come
The guideline is a step to fill the gap
in policy, procedures and provide recommendation to support and assist
companies to establish gender neutral working environment.
It has been almost 3 decades since women have entered in this
profession, but till today women seafarer in India have 0.5% Women
participation among Total seafarers and that include Cruise shipping Crew.
Contribution to the Merchant fleet is again way too less. On seeing Indian seafarers statistics, in
year 2017, total 1,54,349 wereactive seafarers, out of which 810 were
women seafarers including hospitality crew. Out of these 810 only 121 are
officers and thus % goes further down.
As per Indian seafaring data till
today total 4548 lady seafarers are
there since women started entering this profession where offices have been only
Unlike profession in Software or Medical Field
this sector showed minimal growth in terms of Women participation. Still
general mass lacks awareness on seafaring profession and involvement of lady
IWSF during the launch in 2017 had announced baby steps for
Placement and bridging policy gaps, towards which IWSF worked on mentoring the
girls, General Mass awareness about seafaring profession. IWSF in coordination
with MMD Mumbai/GOI have run awareness program at schools. IWSFhave supported girls in placement in these
difficult job scenarios by connecting them through various companies in network
and further developing and polishing their soft skills for the entry level
While sharing her thoughts Founder of
IWSF Ms. Suneeti Bala said, “Towards policy’s Gap, this document has been
prepared with lots of efforts and taking feedback from all today’s and
tomorrow’s lady seafarers and we appeal to the Industry, specially employers of
women seafarers to come forward and adopt these in their company policy, to
provide gender neutral environment and better work conditions for women
seafarer. We offer assistance on all such organisation who seek it, may it be
counselling, gender sensitization program or awareness workshop or support in
documenting policy /procedures”
She emphasized on the fact that Placement
remains one of biggest challenge as all companies have not opened doors for
women seafarers and significant no. of companies are still not prepared to have
girls on board. Namely Shipping Corporation of India and Angoleastern ship management
has considerable number of women seafarers.
all three programs and survey forms filled by industry representative will be
collated and draft report copy will be formally shared with all participants at
Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai for their comments.
takeaway of the event is the release of Policy Guidelines for Women seafarers
employment by Chief Guest Dr Malini V Shankar. It is interesting to note that
we could not find any such guidelines which exist in public domain addressing
issues directly related with Women seafarers onboard. Best features of this
guidance booklet are the simplicity and precision to deal with core issues.
this occasion, Dr. Malini V. Shankar, IAS, Director General of Shipping &
Special Secretary to Government of India said,”I am glad that women
seafarers have come together under the roof of IWSF to address the issues of
women seafarers. It is less than a year ago the three pioneering women of
shipping world has created a history by forming the only body for the
betterment of women seafarers all over the globe.There is no substitute to
passion and women as seafarers are the classic example of the passionate women
This event was
attended by Mr George J Hoyt, IMO maritime ambassador who in his speech
emphasized on the IMO theme of 2019 which is dedicated to Women seafarer and
advised all young women seafarer to follow this profession with their heart and
The event was well appreciated by Maritime Industry and various
Industry delegates including representative from Scorpio ship management ,Maersk
line, Angloeastern shipping , SCI,BernardSchulte,Torm Shipping,VR
maritime,MANET,AMTC,IMU campus , MTI,TMI , K-line ,Seven Islands, TORM, OERC, Tolani
shipping,Hal offshore,D Amico shipping ,OMCI,Selandia, Island Flag , Executive ship Management, India
ports Global limited, Lloyd register ,DNVGL ,IR class, FOSMA,MASSA,INSA,NUSI
International Women Seafarers foundation
(IWSF) was launched in November 2017 to promote women seafarers on board and
develop their career ashore. A woman is faced with numerous social challenges
in their pursuit of a sailing career. Young girls, more often than not, when
faced with unusual circumstances, are unable to take the right steps at right
time, leading to complications for peers and companies employing them. The
vision is to become the voice of all lady seafarers to ensure agender diverse
working environment on board ships.
IWSF’s mission is to promote and support
lady seafarers and help them overcome their all existing and future challenges.
To assist government and institutions in promoting education and policies
related to women.