NEWS

Navy Recruits Women For The First Time in 43-year History

Screenings for female candidates have begun as the Fijian Navy gets set to include 20 women into the division for the first time in its 43-year history. The Navy received
02 Feb 2018 14:00
Navy Recruits Women For The First Time in 43-year History
Applicants for places in the Navy undergo tests . Photo: Sheldon Chanel

Screenings for female candidates have begun as the Fijian Navy gets set to include 20 women into the division for the first time in its 43-year history.

The Navy received close to 3000 applications this year, out of which more than 1200 were females, revealed Navy Commander Captain (Navy) Humphrey Tawake.

“It is historical to recruit females in the Navy,” said Captain Tawake.

“We did consult our counterparts in Australia and New Zealand on how to smoothly introduce women into the Navy workforce.”

He said a specialist from the Royal New Zealand Navy would come in next month to lend assistance with policy making to accommodate the new intake.

He said leadership was key to prevent workplace gender issues.

From the 3000, 400 have already been shortlisted. The list will be further trimmed to include 70 new recruits, with the selection of at least 20 females considered mandatory.

The Commander said the fresh recruits would be placed in the naval reserve, meaning they would be called upon if there was a vacancy or shortage.

Fijian security forces in the past have been  largely male dominated.

And while Fiji does have a growing number of females in the army, the navy remained the only security force without females serving.

“We are bringing in new patrol boats that come with specific accommodations for females with self-contained units,” the commander said.

“The physical examinations are standard for everyone and female recruits must pass the tests to earn a place in the navy.”

Republic of Military Forces Commander Rear-Admiral Viliame Naupoto last July said the Fijian Navy would soon have females serving.

The recruits will go through physical, swimming and aptitude examinations and general interviews conducted by senior naval officers.

“They still have to earn their way to get a chance to go out to sea,” Captain Tawake added.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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