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Friday, 17 June 2011

Maritime sectors: more women joining the ranks

In the collective imagination, maritime occupations have always been a male stronghold. Yet women’s role and status in maritime activities have evolved considerably over the last 20 years, whether in terms of legal status, access to jobs or visibility. Since 2009, the FEMMAR project at the University of Nantes has teamed up researchers from different disciplines to study the sociological, legal, economic and geographical processes related to these developments and to understand the paradoxes that sometimes result. The University of Nantes conducted a survey among women working in marine employment. The responses are mostly from France (81 %), with the rest from Spain’s Atlantic shoreline. In terms of sectors of activity, the responses break down as follows: 33 % of respondents work in maritime fisheries, 18 % in the shellfish branch of aquaculture, 32 % in merchant shipping and 17 % in the French navy. Women working in other maritime sectors also responded but their numbers were too low for the responses to be utilisable from a statistical point of view. More than half the women surveyed are employees (55 %), while others are company directors (16 %) or assisting spouses (9 %). Some 20 % are not paid. More than one fourth of the respondents go to sea.

Source: Fisheries and aquaculture in Europe