Women seafarers wanted for global shipping


By Emmie V. Abadilla

Global demand for seafarers continue to surge till 2025, with more women – more Filipinas, specifically, expected to join this male-dominated industry.

So far, of 1.65 million seafarers serving on internationally trading merchant ships, only two percent are women. Of the one million Filipino seafarers issued with Seafarers Identification and Record Book in 2018, ten per cent, or 73,027, are women, mostly working in cruise liners.

Its even more challenging for Filipino women who want to be part of a ships crew, although they are bolder and highly driven, says Marissa Oca, Founder and President of Gig and the Amazing Sampaguita Foundation, Inc. (GASFI), a non-profit group forging relationships among seafaring and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) families.

Seafaring women have a propensity for not backing down from offers for higher positions, unlike men, who may be large in number but do not want to be promoted anymore because they are already satisfied with their salaries, explained the daughter of the late Gregorio S. Oca, Father of Filipino Seafarers.

However, Many Filipino women seafarers bear the social cost of their profession. After spending so much time at sea, they feel isolated when they come home. They feel that their families do not know them or they have no friends at all. Some of them find it difficult to keep long-distance relationships.

Next year, the global seafaring industry will need more manpower, close to 100,00....

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