Why Women in Tourism?
According to a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 2012) report, tourism has almost twice as many women employers as other sectors. Women are more likely to have a leadership voice in tourism businesses, associations and tourism governance compared to other arenas. Tourism provides better opportunities for women’s participation in the workforce, women’s entrepreneurship, and women’s leadership than other sectors of the
Though there have been many advancements in the empowerment of women, many are still lagging behind in terms of economic opportunities, social mobility, access to financial and other resources, and employment rights and privileges. There are ongoing challenges for women in tourism – they are less paid, under represented at management levels as well as in lucrative professions, challenges to entrepreneurship and business
ownership, and discriminatory laws and practices against women. However, a 2015 study by McKinsey found that narrowing the gender gap could double the contribution of women to global GDP between the years 2014 and 2025.
The significance of women’s empowerment and gender equality has been acknowledged by various international organizations. The 5th Goal of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals is to promote Gender Equality, and the 10th is to Reduce Inequality. The United Nations expect that by 2030, women can be ensured to have full participation and equal opportunities in leadership roles at all levels of decision making in political, economic, and public sectors. It is imperative to capitalize and leverage the potential of women in tourism, encourage inclusivity in the value chain, and enhance their social capital.It is time to push critical conversations on gender empowerment and change the economic and social trajectory of women in tourism.