A joint initiative of the International
Maritime Health Association (IMHA),
International Seafarers’ Welfare
and Assistance Network (ISWAN),
International Transport Workers’
Federation (ITF) and Seafarers Hospital
It is estimated that 1-2% of the world's 1.25m seafarers are women, serving on some 87,000 ships, mostly in the cruise sector. Research suggests that they continue to face discrimination, and that there are areas where women seafarers' specific needs are often overlooked. Health is likely to be one such area, and there has been a growing concern among health and welfare organisations that medical handbooks and other literature aimed at women seafarers are outdated and fail to provide a gendered perspective to health or to consider health and related issues that are specific to women.
This document shows the research findings that highlight a small number of areas where relatively simple and low-cost interventions might improve the health and welfare of women seafarers, as well as some complex issues which will need further investigation.