Blog from Tricia Barnett

img_4627South Africa scored what was probably a first when Capstone Training and Development in partnership with Meadowlands Tourism Development Centre, Soweto, hosted a two-day Dialogue on Responsible Tourism and Empowerment of Women in Southern Africa. It provided a tremendous opportunity to meet with and learn from a wide ranging, wise and experienced group of women who blew away any notion that tourism development could just continue to expand in its closed, unthinking and unaware way in relation to gender equality. The energy was powerful and stimulating and I felt hugely privileged to be able to take part. What appears as controversial when Equality in Tourism presents to tour operators and development agencies, was the accepted path for these women: women are not given the real power to gain access to opportunities; even when government has policies on equality, they are not followed; there is tremendous discrimination in the hospitality industry; the potential for women in the workplace and community is not harnessed. We must continue to challenge all of this as well as provide paths forward for change. Tourism will not be sustainable until women have equality.

Happily we can all pick up the more formal presentations from the very wide variety of public and private sector participants. Just go to: