Female port captain develops app to avoid harassment on board

Female port captain develops app to avoid harassment on board

Female port captain develops app to avoid harassment on board

Ayşe Aslı Başak, one of the three port captains in the world, has developed an application enabling women to instantly report harassment, mobbing and violence they face on board.

Developed together with a Singapore-based start-up under the leadership of the Seafarers International Union, the application will be available to all ships around the globe after the project is finalized, Başak noted.

“We are in the second year of the project, which will last for five years in total,” said Başak, adding that she was inspired by KADES, a mobile application launched by two ministries for women who want to notify security forces without calling them to lodge a complaint and ask for immediate help.

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.”

After graduating at Istanbul Technical University’s (İTÜ) maritime transportation and management engineering department, she had to end her ship captain career due to a health problem, Başak said. “Then, I decided to leave the seas and do something on land and became a port captain.”

A port captain is responsible for mooring the ship to the port, the proper progress of all loading activities at the port and establishing the connection between the port and the ship, Başak explained, noting that there are three female port captains in the world.

Working on the problems of women seafarers, the 31-year-old started to take part in the board of directors of international maritime associations since the age of 25.

Başak was among the “10 successful women to watch” in the maritime field at the Nor-Shipping Fair held in Norway’s Oslo in 2019.

She also provided mentorship to 120 young students in two years with the association she founded called SheFarers.