Egypt’s first female ship captain was accused of blocking the Suez Canal and causing global delivery delays despite being hundreds of kilometers away.
Marwa Elselehdar wasn’t even on board the mega-ship Ever Given when it got jammed in the Suez Canal last month, resulting in huge queues of ships on either side.
Even so, Ms. Elselehdar was accused of being responsible for the ship in an online post that contained a fake headline.
The 29-year-old believes she has been targeted because of her gender. According to the International Maritime Organization, women make up only two percent of the world’s seafarers.
Mrs. Elselehdar told him BBC: “I was shocked. I felt like I might be targeted, maybe because I’m a successful woman in this field or because I’m Egyptian, but I’m not sure.
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“This fake article was in English and it spread to other countries. I tried so hard to negate the content of the article because it changed my reputation and all the efforts I made to be where I am now I am impaired. “
Mrs. Elselehdar was hundreds of miles away commanding Aida IV when Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal.
Posts were published on Twitter and Facebook in which one headline was blamed for the crisis.
The headline comes from a real Arab News article celebrating Ms. Elselehdar as Egypt’s first female captain.
She was inspired to join the Merchant Navy after her brother started attending the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.
At the time, the academy accepted only men, but applied and received permission from former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Despite being exposed to constant sexism on her way to becoming captain, she graduated and took command of Aida IV.