Women breaking the ceiling in male-dominated maritime jobs

Today marks the inaugural International Day for Women in Maritime. The day celebrates women in the industry and is intended to promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly in 2021 adopted a resolution proclaiming the day. The theme for this year is Training-Visibility-Recognition: Supporting a barrier-free working environment.

Sergeant Deborah Karimi is among the few women working in this mainly male-dominated sector. She has worked at the Kenya Coast Guard Services since 2012 and is among the first certified female coxswain. A coxswain steers a ship, boats or other water vessels.

“I was a maritime police officer before. It has been more than five years working in the maritime industry,” Ms Karimi told Shipping and Logistics in an interview last Friday.

The Kenya Coast Guard was formed in 2018. Its headquarters is in Liwatoni in the port city of Mombasa, with presence in Lamu and Kisumu too. It consists of professional security drawn from the Kenya Defence Forces, Kenya National Police, National Intelligence Services and civilian professionals.

Ms Karimi is based at the headquarters in Mombasa.

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