Protect Filipino female seafarers and cadettes from sexual harassment and violence

Employers must have effective mechanisms and guidelines to promptly address sexual harassment and violence incidents committed against female seafarers and cadettes.

The Women in Maritime Philippines (WiMaPhil) raised said issue during the recent online public forum organized by the office of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the pending Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers.

Merle San Pedro, WiMaPhil trustee, called for the better protection for women seafarers as part of their campaign not only to promote women as seafarers but also as a part of the maritime industry as a wholeshipping, ports, maritime administration, maritime education and training, and logistics.

Female seafarers are exposed to various forms of discrimination, exploitation, sexual harassment and violence due to their vulnerability, which may partly be attributed to the confined space on board the vessel.

The isolated nature of the ship can increase the opportunities for sexual harassment and violence to occur and can also amplify its negative consequences.

Sexual harassment may take the form of a sexist remarks, sexual advances or sex-related behavior.

Sexual harassment is a reflection of the power relations between individuals involved where, in most instances, the harasser is an officer occupying a higher rank than the woman seafarer.

Women seafarers are susceptible to sexual harassment since they have limited chance of avoiding their harassers due to the rigid hierarchical environment.

They tend to be vulnerable to feeli....

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