“Women’s” issues and shipping — ASN Events

“Women’s” issues and shipping (16289)

Maria Borovnik 1
  1. Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

This presentation will refer to a Kiribati case study – where between 2004 and 2011 more than one hundred women worked, in a majority on cruise ships, and a smaller group on containerships. I will discuss briefly the situations that women encountered while on their journeys, and then focus on the complex reasons why employment was put on halt in 2011, and has since not being reconsidered, for I-Kiribati women seafarers. During my on-board fieldwork experience I could observe first-hand the constraint, multicultural, masculine environments that can be found on containerships and how these would be providing a variety of challenges for women seafarers. Taking the different (economic and cultural) aspects of contemporary shipping into account, this paper will analyse and challenge the gendered reasons that seem to explain why women should not be employed on containerships. Interviews with affected women seafarers during 2012 revealed that even although they had to face a variety of challenges most women want to continue to go on board.