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September 30, 2023

Shefarer develops app to avoid harassment on board

One of the three port captains in the globe, Ayşe Asl Başak, has created an application that enables women to report harassment, mobbing, and violence they experience on board in real time.

The programme was created in collaboration with a Singapore start-up under the direction of the Seafarers International Union, and once the project is complete, it will be accessible to all ships worldwide, according to Başak.

The project, which will last for five years in total, is currently in its second year, according to Başak, who also mentioned that she was motivated by KADES, a mobile app created by two ministries for women who want to alert security forces without calling them to lodge a complaint or request immediate assistance.

Stating that she learned how much male seafarers were harassed though she designed the project by drawing examples from only female seafarers, Başak said, “This is why we are developing the application in a way that everyone can use it, regardless of whether men or women.”

She had to abandon her work as a ship captain after receiving her degree from Istanbul Technical University’s (TÜ) maritime transportation and management engineering department owing to a health issue, according to Başak. Then, I made the decision to quit the waters and pursue a career on land, becoming a port captain.

According to Başak, who noted that there are only three female port captains in the globe, a port captain is in charge of anchoring the ship to the port, ensuring the orderly progress of all loading activities there, and creating the connection between the port and the ship.

The 31-year-old began participating in the board of directors of worldwide maritime groups at the age of 25 and has been working on issues affecting women seafarers ever since.

In the maritime industry, Başak was one of the “10 successful women to watch” at the Nor-Shipping Fair in Oslo, Norway in 2019.

Additionally, she mentored 120 young students over the course of two years through the organisation she founded, SheFarers.

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