By Dapo Olawuni |
Vice President, Women in Maritime Nigeria (WIMA-Nigeria) Mrs Rollens Mcfoy has accused Nigerian ship owners of discrimination against female seafarers employment onboard vessels, adding that shipowners do not take issues of sexual harassment against female onboard seriously.
While addressing journalists in Lagos recently, McCoy who is also the owner of Seafaring Maritime Academy noted that Sexual Harassment against female can only be stopped if employers investigate such cases thoroughly.
According to her “Whether a woman is harassed on the street or on the road, harassment is harassment, it is a managerial and sentimental issue, if a woman is harassed on the vessel, it is the manager of the vessel that should listen to both parties and take the case serious and investigate how it happened”
She advised female seafarers, saying that sexual harassment happens mostly in the office, hence it should not deter a girl child from going to sea.
She added that “The challenges we are facing is actually the shipowners in Nigeria, the stigmatization against women is too much, they tell you we don’t want problems on our vessel, they say women would be biased”
“If their mind (shipowners) is dislodged and look at it that a girl child working on a vessel is as good as a girl child working in the office, because the vessel is an office, it has everything you have in an office”
“The girl child should be given equal opportunities, we are making a passionate appeal to the shipowners, they should put their onboard administration in order, they should let their male employers know that the ladies are not there as their sex tools or for their imagination”
She said that WIMA Nigeria has embarked on a campaign to secondary schools, where the girl child initially chose a career, she said most students in secondary schools are not aware of carrier opportunities in the maritime sector, adding that catching the girl child young makes them to be aware.
“When you catch a girl child young before she goes to sea,she must have worked for five to ten years before she gets married, so she is already prepared for managerial position, so she is in the office managing”
“She is an experienced person both in practical and now she is in the office” she said
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