Turning the Tides:Turning the Tides:Summary of the NTC 2023 International Women'sDay Panel Discussion and Policy MakingA glimpse of the she-farers' realityA glimpse of the she-farers' reality
11IntroductionIntroductionAround the world, International Women’s Day has been markedwith various activities centered on educating the public aboutgender equity, highlighting women’s achievements, and morecontinuous efforts to bring about positive change for women.What started as a gradual clamor during the time of the industrialrevolution is now an annual celebration of strength andcollaboration of different genders from all walks of life.Through the efforts of those who started, women are now muchmore confident, accomplished, and driven to take on things thatwere formerly denied to them like having an education, casting a vote, going for their chosenprofession, owning aproperty, and working outsidethe home. These hurdles inachieving the thrivingpossibilities of humanity areeroding as we continue tomake way for this day.It is also quite apparent thatthere is a shift taking place inthe approach to recruitmentfor certain careersnowadays. The once male-dominated seafaring industryis currently paving the wayfor women to explore andexperience the
22world while at sea. This has been going about in recent years,steadily progressing, as shipping companies increase their intakeof female crew and staff.One of the supporters of the campaigns for InternationalWomen’s Day is the Norwegian Training Center (NTC) of theNorwegian Maritime Foundation of the Philippines. For twoconsecutive years now under the leadership of the currentManaging Director, Capt. Jo Even Tomren, NTC has held specialevents every 8th of March to stand with the same mission forfemale seafarers. Additionally, through the initiatives taken by theNorwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) Cadet Program, themaritime industry has been experiencing a surge of aspiringfemales committed to work onboard. The present numbercontinues to rise each year as part of the requirements by NSAcustomers.With this and as the result of the successful symposium organizedby NTC, we humbly share the summary of the activities fromMarch 8, 2023 on the panel discussion and policy-making activityparticipated by NTC stakeholders and NSA cadets. We hope you find this significant and relevant in today’s state ofaffairs of maritime labor.
33A messageA messagefrom NTC's Managing DirectorYour presence today means a lot not only to us at NTC, but to allthe female seafarers and maritime professionals everywhere.Seafaring has no gender – it's all about the smartest brains andtalented people.The maritime industry has slowly come around realizing this andrecruitment of more women over the last years has been a focusarea for many shipping companies. What we have might failed to realize in our pursuit to attractmore women, is the recognition of the fact that the environmenton board design the daily life has been made to cater men. It goesfrom the actual ergonomic designs, the personal protectiveequipment, the work tools, the medical facilities and supplies,insurance policies and so on, and all the way to the dock and portfacilities. And yet our vessel is always addressed as "she" – out ofrespect and out of tradition. It is time to work this from theopposite end. Today, right here, you are all on board. And we willlook into the future standing side by side as a team.The name of the vessel you are sailing on board today is "MVEquity". And she is in your capable hands, and she is ready toundergo changes imposed by you. The campaign of thisInternational Women's Day is “embrace equity”, which is fittingfor today's activity.
44As a group, from variousparts of the maritime sector,we will address health, career,and shipboard environmentconcerns being faced bywomen on board.Let me be clear – a life at seameans sacrifices. It is a toughlife regardless of gender. Butthe sacrifices should not berelated to gender. It is also alife that will bring huge varietyof great experiences,opportunities, and potentialfor growth.So, let's work on removing the differences, making the seafaringcareers attractive for talents – not gender. A safe, inclusive, andequal workplace. The policies we are going to work on or passingon today may very well be the entrance point to a maritimecareer for a talented woman in the near future.We can make it happen.Captain Jo Even Tomren
55A messageA messagefrom the Norwegian Ambassador to the PhilippinesIt is a pleasure for me to celebrate this important day with all ofyou. It is a great honor for me to be here today to kick off thissymposium with a few remarks on the topic that is so importantand so close to the heart of Norway and the Norwegiangovernment.The Philippines and Norway have a long history of cooperation.And the maritime sector forms the foundation of these strongbilateral ties.Today, Norwegian shipping companies employ about 25,000Filipino seafarers on board ships, and these are dedicated, hardworking, and professional seafarers. She-farers make up 11% ofthe workforce aboard Norwegian ships, but the global average iseven lower, which is only 1.2%. That is not good enough.Why is this a problem? Theresearch and evidence are clear,empowering women andincreasing gender diversity withina company leads to betterbusiness and economic outcomesthrough increased profitability,productivity, and companyeffectiveness.Norway, along with otherScandinavian countries like
66Denmark, therefore, continues to promote gender equalityaround the world – including at sea. It's not only the right thing todo, it's also good for business. Or as I've deemed the term she-farers to the industry. We need measures that reduce structural,cultural, and even practical barriers to maritime gender equality.I'm therefore glad, that the Norwegian Maritime Authority andthe Norwegian Shipowners Association are committed to workingtowards closing the gender gap by up to 40% in leading positionsby 2030. Following the initiative of the Women's InternationalShipping and Training Association (WISTA) in Norway, theNorwegian Maritime Authority and the Norwegian ShipownersAssociation signed the "40 by 30" pledge for more gender diverseworkforce in the industry.And I think using more gender-neutral terms such as seafarer,instead of seamen and motorman, is an acknowledged steptowards this transition. That's why I would like to salute theNorwegian Training Center for providing a platform here todaywhere these topics will be tackled and discussed.Before I end my speech, let me also mention, that this year marksthe 75 years of bilateral diplomatic relations between thePhilippines and Norway. Our countries are geographically farapart, but we have developed very strong ties over the last 3/4 ofa century. With that foundation, I'm very much looking forward tothe next 75 years, and many more Filipino she-farers aboardNorwegian ships. With those words, let's get this symposiumstarted. Thank you so much!Ambassador Christian Halaas Lyster
77A messageA messagefrom the Danish Ambassador to the PhilippinesIt's wonderful to be here atthe Norwegian TrainingCenter on this important dayand occasion. I'm very happyto see my colleague,Ambassador Lyster, andcertainly all of you ladies andgentlemen out there.If the gender balance was asgood in the shipping industryas it is in this room, we wouldbe in a much better placealready.I will talk a little about what the outlook is for female seafarers inthe shipping industry and why it's important, as well as why it'sspecifically important for the Philippines.As we've already heard, there are not a lot of female seafarersand this is not just a problem that the shipping industry is facing –gender imbalances. We have a lot of sectors out there withgender imbalances who are looking to attract more females intotheir industry. And why is that? Well, it's very simple. The oilindustry, the energy industry, the shipping industry are all lookingto get more females on board because they want talent.
88Talent is the most important ingredient to your success -- as acompany, as an institution, and in life.Why is it especially important for Filipinos when it comes to thegender equality issue? That is because in the Philippines you havea tradition that is very important... a tradition in which femalescan work outside the home. Not all countries are like that. And notonly can they work out of home, but they can also work evenabroad.So, this is a significant reason why the Philippines is especiallyimportant when it comes to developing gender equality within theshipping industry because there is a bigger chance that Filipinowomen will see themselves as able and willing to work not justoutside the home but also abroad and offshore.Let me just share with you a story about my wife. She's veryangry at international hotel chains because every time we go intoa hotel together, they are designed for men. Then she startscomplaining about everything. Things should be different in thehotel room. And there's some truth to that -- we do have atendency to have spaces that have been applied to a certaingender. But here, we're talking about ships being made for males,and small things do make a big difference. Certainly, the shipping industry needs to look at what they can doto try to even out the pay gap. There's also the question aboutsexual harassment at the workplace, and this is for real. And I'veworked with this professionally in the past.
99When I was in Afghanistan, a country where we were also tryingto mobilize women into the workforce, sexual harassment andintimidation was a big issue. Because in Afghanistan, there is nocultural tradition for having females in the workforce. So, that ledto a lot of challenges there. Silence is not going to solve the issue. We need to work ontogether because it is about cultural change. There is no space atall for any tolerance when it comes to sexual harassment andintimidation.So, what can we do? Well, I do think that shipowners andgovernment can turn the tide together.It is very important that there is leadership from the top when itcomes to these issues. Government alone cannot solve theproblem. Commitment from various levels of government and theprivate sectors need to step up and create an inclusiveenvironment for women. And of course, the shipowners have a bigrole to play here. But I also do think there are other very significant players: You,Me, and Us. Because people are the drivers of change. At the endof the day, each and every one of us can play a huge role in howwe approach gender equality issues across the board. And as Isaid before, breaking the silence is an important part.Let us be active and proactive in addressing the issues we have inthe industry. Your voice is important, just as I've had a chance to
1010speak with you today. Maybe I'm speaking a little long already so Iwill end my talk here. But let us speak up!It is the way forward, and the industry does need all of you,women who are out there to be part of what is a global successstory and a success story for the Philippines. Thank you very much.Ambassador Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin
1111of the Panel DiscussionThematic AnalysisThematic Analysis In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Norwegian TrainingCenter (NTC) hosted a program to address the needs and issues ofour women seafarers across the board. With this, NTC has identifiedthree (3) key concerns to be tackled during the panel discussion:(1) Reproductive Health of Women on Board; (2) Work Arrangementsand Socialization of Women on Board; and (3) Access to Facilities andProvision and Supply of Women on Board.With this, NTC has invited experts in the maritime industry, of theirspecific field, to tackle and discuss with all the participants theconcerns and give their recommendations for the decision-makersand the current and future women seafarers. Panelists are: Capt.Rosemelyn Boongaling, an active seafarer for more than two decadesand works for Wilhemsen-Ahrenkiel; Capt. Rodcyn Yumang, Head ofNautical and Research Development at Norwegian Training Center;Engr. Grace Gareza, HSEQ Coordinator at Altera and 2nd Engineer atMaerskLine; Ms. Hyacinth Sharma, Competence Administrator atOdfjell; and Dr. Christian Angelo Lubaton, Medical Director at theNordic Medical Center. The Panel discussion was moderated by Ms.Arla Fontamillas.Reproductive Health of Women on BoardThe reproductive health of women seafarers refers to the specificconsiderations and challenges related to women's reproductive well-being while working at sea or on ships. Here are some key aspects toconsider that are pointed out during the panel discussion:
1212Menstruation: Similar to women in other professions, womenseafarers may experience menstrual changes while at sea.Access to sanitary products and proper hygiene facilities isessential to manage menstrual health.Contraception: Women seafarers, like any sexually activeindividuals, need access to reliable contraception methods toprevent unintended pregnancies. It is important for shippingcompanies to provide appropriate information, resources, andsupport regarding contraception options.Pregnancy: Pregnancy at sea poses unique challenges and risks.Pregnant women may face limited access to proper prenatalcare, potential exposure to hazards, and limited medical facilities.Depending on the shipping company's policy, pregnant womenmay be required to disembark or limit their duties to ensure thewell-being of both the mother and the unborn child.Sexual and Reproductive healthcare: Adequate access tosexual and reproductive healthcare services, includinggynecological examinations, screenings, and treatment ofreproductive health conditions, is crucial for women seafarers.Shipping companies should prioritize providing necessary medicalresources and support, both on board and during port visits.Mental health support: The seafaring lifestyle can bedemanding and isolating, which can have an impact on mentalhealth. It is essential to provide psychological support andresources for women seafarers, including addressing any specificconcerns related to reproductive health and offering access tocounseling or mental health services.
1313Family planning and work-life balance: Balancing familyplanning decisions and work responsibilities can be challengingfor women seafarers, especially if they have caregivingresponsibilities or desire to start a family. Supporting policies andpractices that promote work-life balance, maternity leave, andaccess to childcare can contribute to the reproductive well-being of women seafarers.Occupational hazards: Some job-related hazards on ships mayhave implications for reproductive health. Exposure to certainchemicals, heavy lifting, long working hours, and irregular sleeppatterns can potentially impact fertility and pregnancyoutcomes. Implementing effective safety measures andproviding appropriate protective equipment can help mitigatethe risks.Thematic Analysis It is important for shipping companies and relevant authorities torecognize the unique reproductive health needs of women seafarersand ensure that appropriate policies, resources, and support systemsare in place to promote their well-being.Ship environment: Work Arrangements and Socialization ofWomen on BoardThe work arrangements and socialization of women on board a shipcan vary depending on the type of vessel, the company policies, andthe specific cultural norms within the maritime industry. While womenhave traditionally been underrepresented in the maritime sector,there has been an increasing push for gender equality and inclusivity inrecent years. Here are some key aspects to consider that are talkedon during the panel discussion:
1414Thematic Analysis Job Roles: Women can work in various roles onboard ships,including deck officers, engineers, navigators, technicians,stewards, and catering staff, among others. There are alsowomen serving as captains and senior officers on certain vessels.However, some roles, particularly those involving physicallydemanding tasks, may still be predominantly held by men.Accommodations: Ships typically have separate living quartersfor male and female crew members. Cabins or designatedspaces are assigned based on gender, ensuring privacy andcomfort. The size and amenities of the accommodations mayvary depending on the type and size of the vessel.Facilities: Ships are equipped with facilities such as mess halls,recreational areas, gyms, and sometimes swimming pools, whichcan be used by all crew members. These spaces provideopportunities for social interaction and relaxation during leisuretime.Work Environment: The work environment on board a ship canbe demanding and requires adherence to strict safety protocols.Women are expected to comply with the same standards astheir male counterparts and follow procedures and regulationspertaining to their job roles.Socialization: Socialization opportunities for women on boardcan vary depending on the ship’s size, duration of the voyage,and cultural factors. Many shipping companies promote arespectful and inclusive environment that encourages crewmembers to interact and engage in social activities during their
1515Thematic Analysis free time. This may include organized events, movie nights, sportsactivities, or shared meals.Training and Awareness: Companies may provide gendersensitivity training and awareness programs to promote a moreinclusive and supportive environment on board. This training canhelp foster respect, prevent harassment or discrimination, andcreate a positive workplace culture.It's important to note that the experiences of women working onboard a ship can differ significantly depending on individualcompanies, cultural norms, and regional regulations. Efforts are beingmade within the industry to improve gender equality, enhance workingconditions, and promote diversity at sea.Access to Facilities and Provision and Supply of Women onBoardImproving access to facilities for women seafarers has been a focusin recent years to ensure gender equality and promote inclusivity inthe maritime industry. Here are some key aspects related to accessto facilities for women seafarers pondered on during the paneldiscussion:Accommodation: Shipowners and operators are increasinglyworking towards providing separate accommodation facilitiesfor women on board vessels. These accommodations aredesigned to ensure privacy, safety, and comfort for womenseafarers.Washrooms and Sanitary Facilities: Ships are being equippedwith gender-specific washrooms and sanitary facilities to meetthe needs of women seafarers. This includes separate showerfacilities, toilets, and changing areas.
1616Thematic Analysis Common Areas: Efforts are being made to create designatedcommon areas where women seafarer scan relax, socialize, andengage in recreational activities while on board. These spacesare important for promoting a sense of community and well-being.Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Ensuring the availabilityof appropriately sized PPE, including safety gear and uniforms, iscrucial for women seafarers. Shipowners and employers areincreasingly mindful of providing PPE that fits properly andmeets the specific requirements of women seafarers.Training and Awareness: Education and training programs arebeing implemented to raise awareness among crew membersabout the unique needs and challenges faced by womenseafarers. This includes training on gender sensitivity, sexualharassment prevention, and promoting a respectful workenvironment.Provision and Supply of Women SeafarersIncreasing the participation of women in the seafaring profession is apriority for the industry. Efforts are being made to encourage andsupport women who wish to pursue careers as seafarers. Here aresome aspects related to the provision and supply of womenseafarers:Recruitment and Promotion: Shipping companies and maritimeorganizations are actively promoting career opportunities forwomen in seafaring roles. They are focusing on attractingwomen to the profession through targeted recruitmentcampaigns, scholarships, and mentorship programs.
1717Thematic Analysis Training and Education: Efforts are being made to provideequal opportunities for women to access training and educationin maritime institutions. Scholarships, grants, and specificprograms aimed at women seafarers are being introduced tosupport their professional development.Support Networks: Establishing support networks andcommunities for women seafarers is crucial. These networksprovide a platform for sharing experiences, offering guidance,and addressing the specific challenges faced by women in theindustry.Career Progression: Initiatives are being undertaken to ensureequal opportunities for career progression for women seafarers.This includes mentorship programs, leadership training, andpolicies that promote gender diversity at all levels of themaritime industry.Addressing Gender Bias and Discrimination: Efforts are beingmade to eliminate gender bias and discrimination in the maritimesector. Companies are implementing policies and procedures toaddress issues such as sexual harassment and unequaltreatment, fostering a more inclusive and supportive workenvironment.It’s important to note that while progress has been made in theseareas, there is still work to be done to achieve full gender equality inthe maritime industry. Continued efforts and collaboration amongstakeholders are essential to further enhance the access to facilitiesand provision and supply of women seafarers.
1818of the Policy-Making OutputThematic AnalysisThematic Analysis Two learning sessions on women’s empowerment in the maritimeindustry were conducted for female cadets of the NSA of the cadetprogram in Davao on September 3-4, 2022 and Cebu on September14-15, 2022. During the learning sessions, the female cadets were introduced tothe basic concepts of gender, women’s human rights, gendermainstreaming in maritime security/operations, sexual harassmentand safe spaces, and psychological first aid. The curriculum includednumerous workshops and feedback sessions where cadets coulddiscuss their top worries about being women in the marine industry.For fourth-year students who had recently ended their seafaringexperience, a feedback session was also held. The following themes emerge from these discussions as the mostimportant ones for female seafarers: (1) access to reproductivehealth, (2) providing women with resources and facilities, and (3)ensuring safe spaces and pathways. These themes served as the framework for the policy-makingworkshop, in which cadets and clients were divided into distinctgroups to develop policy suggestions that cater to the particularneeds and concerns of female seafarers. The Policy-Making WorkshopIn celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023, NTCorganized a symposium to tackle various issues of female seafarers.Specifically, the IWD 2023 symposium held a panel discussionbetween a dynamic set of speakers on life onboard for femaleseafarers and the challenges they face. This was followed by the
1919policy-making workshop which aimed to design policies that canaddress identified key challenges of female seafarers onboard, andidentify suitable requirements in implementing the suggested policies.The symposium was conducted last March 08, 2023, in MarriottHotel, Parañaque. The event was attended by over a hundred NTCclients, partners, cadets, and shipping executives.The policy-making workshop provided a safe space for the seafarersto validate the issues raised from the women’s empowermentlearning sessions as well as to discuss their maritime experiences anddifficulties while providing policy alternatives to deal with thoseproblems. While clients reviewed their existing policies and expressedtheir willingness to update their policies in order to ensure that femaleseafarers are given equal opportunities, fair treatment, and a safeworking environment. The workshop generated five key thematic areas that the NSA cadetprogram, NTC, clients and shipping executives should take intoaccount to promote fair, just and equitable access for femaleseafarers. Thematic Analysis Context & RationaleThe maritime industry plays a crucial role in global trade andtransportation and contributes significantly to economic growth anddevelopment. However, it has historically been male-dominated withlimited representation and opportunities for women. Based on theInternational Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Seafarer Workforce Report2021, there are approximately 1,892,720 seafarers globally, 857,540are officers and 1,035,180 are ratings. The Philippines, the RussianFederation, Indonesia, China and India compose most of the seafaringcrew globally.
2020Between 2015 and 2021, there was a 0.32% increase in InternationalConvention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeepingfor Seafarers (STCW) certified female seafarers bringing the globaltotal from 0.96% to 1.28% respectively. In 2021, it was estimated that there were only 24,059 femaleseafarers aboard merchant ships. Globally, there are only about 7,289female officers. An industry analysis reveals that passenger ferriesand the cruise industry hold the most female officers and ratings.Based on the 2022 Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) AnnualStatistical Report, women comprise only 14% or 11,239 of the totallocal seafaring workforce. They are also a minority across almostevery category of operations and category of employment, exceptfor administrative positions. More and more women are joining the seafaring industry; however,most are still being employed in traditionally “feminine” positions andsectors such as administrative support services and hospitality. To address such imbalance and promote inclusivity, there is a need forgender-responsive policies within the maritime industry that will aimto ensure equal rights and opportunities for individuals. The policiesshould be anchored within the principles of equality and inclusivity thatvalues diversity and recognizes the contributions of women. Thislikewise is aligned with the principles of social justice as well as theindustry’s overall effectiveness and competitiveness. To address such imbalance and promote inclusivity, there is a need forgender-responsive policies within the maritime industry that will aimto ensure equal rights and opportunities for individuals. The policies should be anchored within the principles of equality andThematic Analysis
2121inclusivity that values diversity and recognizes the contributions ofwomen. This likewise is aligned with the principles of social justice aswell as the industry’s overall effectiveness and competitiveness. Promotion of gender diversity in the maritime workforce can expandthe human resource pool available. Women bring in new skills,perspectives and experiences that maritime companies can benefitfrom such as increased innovation, problem-solving capacities, andadaptability which foster a culture of excellence. It is also crucial to note that gender responsive policies can helpaddress skills gaps in the maritime sector. By providing equal accessto training, education, and career development opportunities, thesepolicies empower women to pursue maritime careers and bridge theexisting gender disparities. Encouraging women to be part of theindustry is one thing, it is also important that gender responsivepolicies prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all maritime workers. Assuch, there is a need to recognize and address the specific challengesfaced by women in a predominantly male environment such as but notlimited to issues related to harassment, discrimination, andinadequate supplies and facilities. In a more global and larger context, gender responsive policies arealigned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Byintegrating gender equality principles into policies and practices,maritime organizations can contribute to SDG 5, which aims toachieve gender equality and empower all women and girls towards amore sustainable and equitable future. In line with NTC’s unwavering commitment to fostering genderequality, diversity and inclusion in the maritime industry, it activelysought to understand and address the issues and concerns raised byThematic Analysis
2222female seafarers and their clients. Recognizing the importance ofpromoting gender equality and inclusivity in the workplace, thesestakeholders have jointly put forth a comprehensive set of proposedgender-responsive policies that reflect their dedication to addressinggender inequalities.Thematic Analysis The following policy recommendations were designed to ensure thatfemale seafarers are given equal opportunities, fair treatment, and asafe working environment. Increase female representation by implementing strategiesto attract and hire female candidates at all levels of themaritime industry, from entry-level positions to leadershiproles.In the international community, the concept of the 30% critical masspertains to the principle that having a minimum representation of30% women in decision-making positions is necessary to bring aboutmeaningful change and promote gender equality. It likewiserecognizes that achieving a critical mass of women in leadership rolesis crucial for challenging existing gender biases, addressinginequalities and fostering inclusive decision-making processes. Regardless of the targeted number, shipping companies, partners,and clients should be able to work on increasing the number of theirfemale seafarers through various strategies and approaches: Targeted recruitment - such as advertising job vacancies onplatforms and networks that target female candidatesProposed GenderProposed Gender Responsive PoliciesResponsive Policies
2323Proposed Gender Responsive PoliciesNon-discrimination in the recruitment process - such asestablishing measures to ensure that female seafarers are notdiscriminated against during the recruitment processMentorship and sponsorship programs - such as establishingprograms that connect aspiring female professionals withexperienced leaders in the maritime industryTraining and skill development - such as offering trainingprograms and workshops focused on developing leadership skillsand competencies among women in the maritime sector Networking and visibility - such as facilitating networkingevents, conferences and platforms that showcase theachievements and expertise of women in the maritime industry. Accessible and comprehensive reproductive health andwellbeing services and promote work life balance practices.Various research has shown that open discussions around sexuality,contraception, healthy relationships, and family planning are morelikely to prevent unplanned pregnancies, HIV and STIs among youth. Itis also more likely to prevent instances of gender-based violenceamong men, women, and people with diverse identities. Care work, or the work of caring for others, is also disproportionatelycarried by women leading to stress, burnout, and poor wellbeing.Female seafarers often have to make an unnecessary choice betweenhaving children and pursuing their careers when they should besupported to have both. The NSA cadet program will be able to support their cadets throughthe various strategies:Inclusion of a seminar on Comprehensive Sexuality Education(CSE) in the curriculum - This shall be safe space to learn and
2424Proposed Gender Responsive Policiesdiscuss scientifically accurate information on human development,anatomy and reproductive health, contraception, childbirth, HIV, andsexually transmitted infections (STIs) for all cadets regardless of theirsex and gender. It takes a positive approach at celebrating thenatural biological differences between males and females with thegoal of breaking stereotypes against female seafarers andtransforming what it means to be female in a male dominated field.Shipping companies, partners, and clients will be able to support theirfemale seafarers through the various strategies:Seafarers undergoing the Standards of Training,Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) training shall berequired to take a supplementary seminar on ComprehensiveSexuality Education (CSE) - This shall include scientificallyaccurate information on human development, anatomy andreproductive health, contraception, childbirth, HIV, and sexuallytransmitted infections (STIs) for all seafarers regardless of theirsex and gender.Maternity leave benefits and post-pregnancy reintegrationprograms - such as flexible workloads and schedules onboard, especially in the first four to eight weeks of return, and check-inmeetings to see how new mothers are coping with their return towork.Mental health helpline and/or designated person to addressmental health concerns - such as a Viber/WhatsApp/Telegramnumber seafarers may always contact for mental health support.Menstruation pardons - seafarers suffering fromdysmenorrhea, endometriosis, PCOS, and other reproductivehealth concerns which affect their work performance may beallowed a reduced workload twice a month as necessary, withoutrisk of persecution or malingering.
2525Proposed Gender Responsive PoliciesGender-based violence (GBV) refers to any harmful act perpetratedagainst anyone based on their gender, which results in physical,sexual, psychological, or economic harm. It can manifest in variousforms, including but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault,verbal abuse, bullying, coercion or discrimination done in person oronline. GBV can occur in different settings in the maritime industry, includingonboard vessels, port facilities, among others. GBV is not only a directharm but undermines the rights, dignity and personal safety ofvictims; which can affect the overall wellbeing of the person and theirability to work. Addressing GBV requires a comprehensive effort from the NSA cadetprogram and shipping companies, partners, and clients such as: Adopt zero-tolerance policies against GBV - which clearlycommunicates the consequences of GBV perpetration includingdisciplinary actions and legal measures.Implement confidential and accessible reporting mechanisms toenable victims and witnesses of GBV to report incidents withoutfear of retaliation - Procedures should be in place to promptlyand effectively respond to reports, including conducting thoroughinvestigations and providing support to survivors. Designate a person specifically for harassment cases,preferably a woman - All seafarers onboard shall have access toan emergency contact person specifically for harassmentthrough an emergency hotline or assistance desk for immediateaction and support.Provision of gender-based violence prevention and responsefor effective response mechanism
2626Proposed Gender Responsive PoliciesEstablish partnerships with organizations and serviceproviders to offer comprehensive support services to GBVsurvivors - Seafarers who are victims of gender-based violenceand harassment shall have access to support and recoveryservices such as therapy, counseling, health, and legal assistance.Develop and deliver training programs on sexualharrassment, GBV prevention and response for all maritimeprofessionals (Sea-based and land-based staff) - This includesrecognizing harassment, how to respond in instances ofharassment, psychological first aid, and discreet procedures tofollow in accordance with the Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy bythe Company.Provision of inclusive shipboard facilities, infrastructure,and supplies managementInfrastructure must reflect inclusion and continuous progresstowards gender equality. Failure to make gender considerations ininfrastructure planning and design often lead to the exclusion ofcertain groups, particularly women, while disproportionatelybenefitting men. This makes it harder for women to penetrate andstay in the seafaring labour force while increasing their vulnerabilityto gender-based violence once they are aboard.Female-specific equipment, materials, and spaces - such asfemale-only changing rooms, female-specific PPEs, menstrualhygiene products, and private articles in the slop or bonded store.Specific bins for menstrual hygiene product disposal - includeand normalize the process of sanitary disposal in the companysafety management system (SMS).Inclusive first-aid kits - All first-aid kits and medical suppliesaboard ships shall include over-the-counter medication toaddress female reproductive aches such as aspirin and ibuprofenthat reduce dysmenorrhea.
2727Proposed Gender Responsive PoliciesGender-responsive appraisal, monitoring and evaluation arenecessary to measure the efficacy and impacts of gender policiesand initiatives towards ensuring that they are addressing the needsand concerns of female seafarers.The following are some basic steps that can guide shippingcompanies, partners, and clients in developing a gender-responsiveappraisal, monitoring and evaluation mechanism: Set goals and objectives - There should be clear goals andobjectives which are aligned with the broader gender equalityobjectives, such as increasing women’s representation,addressing gender-based violence, promoting equalopportunities, etc. Develop gender indicators - There should be specific indicatorsthat will help assess the gender dimensions of various aspectswithin the maritime industry. These indicators should cover areassuch as recruitment and retention, career advancement, trainingand development, work environment and safety, among others. Collect sex-disaggregated data - There is a need to ensurethat data collection systems are designed to capture sex-disaggegated data. This would mean collecting informationseparately for men and women to identify disparities and trends. Build capacity of M&E personnel - Provide training and capacitybuilding of employees, particularly those involved in M&E work, onthe importance of gender responsive appraisal, monitoring, andevaluation and enable them to effectively utilize the system. Develop guidelines and tools - It will also be useful to createguidelines and tools that provide practical guidance on how toconduct gender responsive appraisal, monitoring and evaluation. Develop and adopt a gender-responsive appraisal,monitoring, and evaluation
2828Proposed Gender Responsive Policies These resources can include standardized methodologies, templates and checklists to ensure consistency and reliability in the evaluation process. Review compliance with existing policies - Appraisal reportsshall be updated to include compliance with policies that addressfemale seafarers' concerns, such as those outlined in this policyproposal. These policies would aim to address issues that maydisproportionately affect female seafarers, such as gender-based discrimination, harassment, and unequal opportunities forcareer advancement.Prepare and update appraisal reports - Appraisal reportswould be updated to include an evaluation of how well theseafarer/company is complying with policies that aim to addressthe concerns of female seafarers.Conduct of regular monitoring and evaluation - Regularmonitoring and evaluation would be necessary to track progresstowards addressing the concerns of female seafarers and ensurethat their experiences are being taken into account inperformance evaluations.ConclusionConclusionWomen’s roles have tremendously changed and evolved ascompared to the past century. Starting with the biased rules theyhad to accept to avoid the scorn and judgment of the public up toenduring the hindrances of pursuing self-betterment, the womenof today can act and move of their own volition and can providefor themselves and their families. Yet, the remarks from Ambassador Lyster of Norway andAmbassador Mellbin of Denmark, together with the result of thepanel discussion and policymaking activity confirm that in this
2929Conclusionpresent time, we still have gaps that need to be addressed to fullyannounce that we are living with proper equity being regarded for all. NTC believes that providing an avenue to discuss the concerns ofwomen is vital in the relentless pursuit of achieving gender diversityand inclusion. Furthermore, creating an event that engages all partiessuch as stakeholders, students, and employees will enable shippingcompanies and agencies to look at their business and their impact onthose concerned individuals.Lastly, the areas discussed during the policy-making on (1) Femalehiring and inclusion; (2) Reproductive health and wellbeing; (3) Gender-based violence prevention and response; (4) Shipboard facilities,infrastructure, and supplies management; and (5) Appraisal,monitoring, and evaluation – emphasizes that there is much to bedone by not only in the maritime industry but in other male-dominatedfields, too.With purpose and dedication, the Norwegian Training Center togetherwith the support of its Managing Director, Deputy Director,managers, and employees, will continue to promote more activitiescentered on the values and importance of women in this modernworld.