Women on Board

Modern sea women aren’t wearing white sailor suits as they battle the waves, unemployment and prejudice

“There are some girls here who want to see the crew manager. They say they want to apply for work. No, I’m telling you, they’re girls; they want to work as part of the crew…I’m telling you, they’re not middies, they’re girls!” The shipping company’s doorman put down the receiver and said in an apologetic tone, “Sorry girls. They said that we don’t accept applications from women.” The three young women, all  ranking midshipmen, dressed in their best suits and clutching resumes full of qualifications stood in the lobby of the shipping company – stunned. Over the next few months the dreams that had carried them through their rigorous preparation for the Panhellenic exams and the courses they had followed at the Commercial Naval Academy became faded, replaced by harsh reality. Thirty one years after the graduation of the first female midshipman, the words ‘woman’ and ‘captain’ remain mutually exclusive terms to many sailors. (...) Read full article here (English translation pending)

Ellie Ismailidou, published October 10th, 2011, 'To Vima on Sunday' print and online edition