Can females join the Merchant Navy? The straight answer is YES. Opportunities are undoubtedly endless for young women who choose this profession with dreams to rule the seas, wear the white uniform, work hard with commitment and will to achieve their goals, and lead the life of their choice. Being a seafarer is a demanding career for both men and women. It’s unlike any other career where one may unwind with family at home at the end of the day, no matter what. It requires devotion, commitment, and a lot of effort.
Moreover, the number of opportunities available to women in the maritime industry has significantly increased over time. According to a recent survey, there are currently 24,059 women working as mariners in the merchant navy, representing a 45.8% increase from the figures from 2015.
Although the IMO’s gender programme was established in 1988, the shipping industry has only recently come to terms with the severe gender gap in the maritime industry. Expanding female participation in the Merchant Navy has been a topic of intense debate over the past few years.
To promote the inclusion of women in this industry, many above-average shipping corporations today actively seek out women to serve on their ships.
Onboard, women have the same opportunities as men. The Merchant Navy has three departments:
- Deck Department
- Engine Department
- Catering Department
Let’s check this in-depth:
Under the direction of the captain or master, certified deck officers run the onboard deck department. The ship’s safe navigation is essentially the deck officers’ responsibility. However, they are also responsible for managing the marine cargo on board, overseeing the upkeep of the top hull and deck, preserving the ship’s stability, including loading and unloading ballast water, performing anchoring operations, and anchoring the ship.
There are two ways to join the deck department as an officer –
- Diploma in Nautical Science Leading to BSc degree
- BSc in Nautical Science
The operation, maintenance, and repair of engines, boilers, pumps, generators, and other equipment necessary for the vessel’s safe operation are managed by qualified engineers who oversee the engine department onboard. The Chief Engineer supervises these engineers in charge of the engine department.
However, most female candidates for the merchant navy prefer the deck department to the engine department. The main justification for this choice is that girls think becoming a deck officer is simpler than being an engineer.
Cargo ships and cruise passenger ships are two different types of ships. The catering department has no vacancies in the officer category, and ladies’ cargo ships are therefore unfit for the catering industry.
However, there are numerous opportunities for women on passenger ships in food and hospitality. As a result, girls who want to work in the catering division of the Merchant Navy should look for chances on cruise (passenger)ships.
We at CMS provide a competent and well-prepared advanced curriculum to our students to further their knowledge because we are India’s top maritime training academy. Our expert team and instructors use specific scenarios to communicate the knowledge to our students.