“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor’. Seafarer is not an easy profession. Being a seafarer requires individuals who are mentally and physically strong. No wonder this profession has always been dominated by men.
According to gender perspective, in Indonesia maritime education sphere, women participation could be said to be small in number, around 1.8%. Based on Directorate of Sea Transportation of the Indonesia Ministry of Transportation, by April 19, 2019 the number of female seafarers in various positions and certificate levels, both active and inactive in sailing is as many as 18,572 compared to 1,018,248 male seafarers.
Samudera Indonesia (SI) has provided equal opportunities for women to pursue their dreams and career as professional seafarers. With this support, it has been expected that women’s participation to have a career in this male-dominated profession will be increased.
Behind the common stereotype that women are weak, female seafarers of Samudera Indonesia have managed to prove that this is only a paradox. This has been reflected from the stories of some female seafarers of SI: Capt. Suarniati, Anita Fajar Sari (Chief Officer), and Sheyla Aquaresta Khaidah (3rd Officer). Their achievements are the living proof that a female seafarer has the same set of skills, knowledge, discipline, and physical ability just like their male companion so they could land on an important role on the vessel. Capt. Suarniati has proved her perseverance has made a woman like her can be a captain, the supreme leader on board.
Female seafarers of SI have high quality which make them able to compete and gain the same experiences with their male counterparts. Integrity and observance to ethics and moral compass are the main asset of the key of success of these female seafarers. Sailing for months with the opposite sex companion is not a big issue.
For the future generation of seafarers, these three inspiring women convey a message especially for the female seafarers to never hesitate to pursue achievement even though facing physical challenge. Women must be able to strive wherever they are. SI provides wide opportunities for women to pursue a career as a seafarer, this valuable opportunity shall be followed by determination in carrying out duty that leads to credibility to play an important role.
" Kartini Day is an Indonesian special day commemorating the birth of Raden Ajeng Kartini, a pioneer in the emancipation of Indonesian women. Her thoughts have been inspiring gender equality movement in Indonesia and the day she was born then honored as the day to celebrate women’s empowerment."
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