This landmark book is the first to focus on contemporary women seafarers at a global level. It addresses a host of issues surrounding the working conditions and welfare of women, from both developed and developing countries, employed aboard the world’s merchant and passenger ships. Drawing on extensive research commissioned by the ILO, the book considers women’s participation levels in the industry, and examines policies concerning their recruitment, training, maternity and employment rights, and other aspects of work and life at sea. It also offers first-hand accounts from women seafarers describing how they have dealt with discrimination, sexual harassment, and an array of other difficulties. Women’s employment in the industry has multiple dimensions, and this book provides the historical background and presents recent findings on female participation rates. The study examines the practices and policies of national and international regulatory agencies, employers, trade unions, and maritime education institutions. A series of recommendations that may further help the integration of women into shipboard communities is included.