Gender perspectives vital to maritime operations

This article has photo gallery Published on Flight Lieutenant Tritia Evans (author), ABIS Tom Gibson (photographer)

Location(s): Darwin, Northern Territory

Topic(s): Exercise KAKADU

Exercise Kakadu 2016 Gender Advisor, Lieutenant Commander Donna Sill, stands with Indonesian Navy Ensign, Kevin Syaifullah, after conducting an information session on
Exercise Kakadu 2016 Gender Advisor, Lieutenant Commander Donna Sill, stands with Indonesian Navy Ensign, Kevin Syaifullah, after conducting an information session on "Gender Perspectives in Maritime Operations" held at RAAF base Darwin in support of Exercise KAKADU 2016.

During the harbour phase of Exercise KAKADU, Gender Advisor for the Australian contribution, Lieutenant Commander Donna Sill, hosted a Gender Perspectives in Maritime Operations workshop with international partners to develop case studies and discuss gender issues that arise in maritime operations.

The workshop was designed to demonstrate the existing incorporation of gender perspectives across the spectrum of maritime operations and to highlight particular areas of improvement for the planning and conduct of future Australian maritime exercises and operations.

Lieutenant Commander Sill said the workshop was an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with our regional partners.

“We already consider gender perspectives in maritime operations, but quite often it’s ad hoc and reactive,” she said.

“The case studies we’ve explored from across the participating nations have been an excellent opportunity to highlight issues commonly faced by Navies across the Asia-Pacific.

“By deliberately incorporating the principles of the United Nations Resolution on Women in Peace and Security into the planning and conduct of our maritime tasks, we will increase our operational effectiveness,” Lieutenant Commander Sill said.

Indonesian Navy Ensign Kevin Syaifullah joined the workshop to provide insights into how Indonesia handles gender issues that present themselves at sea.

“It’s important to understand how vulnerable people are disproportionately affected by human trafficking,” Ensign Kevin Syaifullah said.

“During boarding operations, we separate victims from agents [of human trafficking], and men and women, for the protection of the vulnerable groups.”

Exercise KAKADU is Australia’s premier international engagement exercise and in 2016 brings together 19 ships and submarines, 18 aircraft and more than 3000 personnel from Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean navies and air forces.