History was made on 6th March when the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ports, Shipping & Waterways, virtually flagged-off an SCI tanker ship MT Swarna Krishna with only women officers on board from the Mumbai port of JNPT.
This is the first time when a cargo ship is being operated only by women officers. Last year during the occasion of women’s day 2020, The Celebrity Edge cruise ship became the first ship in maritime history to feature an entirely female bridge and hotel officer.
However, this is the first time when a complete ship officer team, including the engine room, will be led by an all-women team.
Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways acknowledged and congratulated all the women officers on this achievement.
Many designated people from the Indian maritime fraternity attended this historical flag-off ceremony virtually.
This move will help the male-dominated maritime industry to adapt to the progressive shift and inclusion of women seafarers in the industry to make it gender-neutral.
The Shipping Corporation of India has been working for a long time on improving gender equality in the industry by employing female seafarers, by providing age relaxations and fee concessions to aspiring female cadets through its Maritime Training Institute to promote their integration.
SCI is one of the companies which hire the highest number of women seafarers and has also been conferred with several awards as an acknowledgement for efforts in promoting Diversity & Equality in the Maritime Sector.
Being true to the International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021 theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”, and continuing the belief of 2019 IMO theme – “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”, the flag off of MT Swarna with All Women Officers’ Sailing is an attempt to acknowledge the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in helping the world recover with the pandemic and also makes a mark in the male-dominated industry.