Skip to main content

Women in ports

Making the workplace better for women dock workers

From crane drivers to tally clerks, women are joining the ranks of dock workers around the world. Now more women than ever before are earning their living in this traditionally male environment.

Strong unions need women

It’s now the responsibility of unions to ensure that women are represented in their collective bargaining and that issues concerning women dock workers are addressed.

A safer workplace for women, free from harassment and bullying, is a happier workplace for all. Childcare and parental leave for both men and women means more family time for all workers. Women actively engaged in their unions mean more women members and stronger unions for all.

Women dock workers need unions

Union membership gives women dockers a powerful network to share experiences and get support and advice. Given that women are also far more likely to occupy part-time, lower-paid and, often, casual contractual roles, the unions support them in times of economic crisis and government cutbacks, and if employers fail to honour their right to a safe and fair workplace. As women are often a minority group in a port environment, it is even more vital for their voice to be heard and the union provides that space.

How you can get involved

By becoming union leaders, women dock workers are providing a voice for women in ports all over the world.

Find out how the ITF is training women to take up leadership roles

The ITF has also created a range of resources, including policy documents, educational material and video, to highlight the key issues that need to be addressed by their union affiliates.

Visit our resources section.

There are also ongoing campaigns and one-off events in support of women’s rights across the transport industry.

Find out more about the ITF’s current campaigns and the issues currently in focus.

Find out more about the ITF women's department

Watch ITF 'Women on the Waterfront'