Royal Canadian Navy drops ‘seaman’ title for gender-neutral term ‘sailor’

WION Web Team
Canada Updated: Aug 28, 2020, 10:34 AM(IST)

Naval officers line HMCS Ville de Quebec as they arrive for a Royal Canadian Navy change of command ceremony at CFB Dockyard in Halifax Photograph:( AFP )

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Earlier this summer, the Navy had announced that it would be discontinuing the use of the word in the ranks of its junior members. 

 

The Royal Canadian Navy announced Thursday will adopt gender neutral ranks, changing references to "seaman" in designations to "sailor" in order to be more diverse and inclusive, and to recruit more women.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said “By adopting gender neutral designation for junior members of the Royal Canadian Navy, we demonstrate to all Canadians that the Canadian Armed Forces will welcome anybody who wants to serve their country and uphold the values of inclusion and diversity.”

“We will continue to work to build a diverse force that is representative of the Canadians they protect.”

Earlier this summer, the Navy had announced that it would be discontinuing the use of the word in the ranks of its junior members. 

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Effective early September, junior ranks will be known as sailor third class, sailor second class, sailor first class and master sailor, replacing ordinary seaman, able seaman, leading seaman and master seaman, respectively.

The move comes after months of public consultations that brought out both support and hateful, misogynistic comments.

That dialogue with over 18,000 respondents, said Vice-Admiral Art McDonald in a statement, highlighted the "sobering reality that we all need to do more, individually and collectively, to be diverse, inclusive, and welcoming."

The new English designations align with existing ranks in French. According to Statistics Canada, about 20 per cent of the Navy’s members are female, which puts the force ahead of the Army and roughly on par with the Air Force.

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