The Equality in Tourism team has just finished an exciting and inspiring webinar series with the United Nations Enivronment Programme (UNEP) as part of the Transforming Tourism project with support from German Government’s International Climate Initiative. The series addressed Gender Equality in Tourism in three stages: integrating gender equality in tourism operations; tourism, gender and resource efficiency and disaster and crisis in tourism. We would like to thank speakers for contributing to this vital series that we hope will motivate more organisations to take concrete action. We would also like to thank attendees who joined us from all over the world and provided us with great feedback. This article provides summaries of each session with links to recordings and downloadable factsheets.
Integrating Gender Equality in Tourism Operations: Why and how
Moderated by Dr Stroma Cole, we heard from Dr Lucy Ferguson on her involvement in implementing gender equality in the tourism sector, in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and through the Centre Stage Project. Dr Heather Jeffrey then delved into how gender inequality manifests in tourism often through gender based violence with compelling personal stories. To finish, Teddy Chuwa took us through the inspiring work of her lodge in Tanzania in addressing gender inequality, including working with Equality in Tourism on a local women’s supply chain.
Tourism, Gender and Resource Efficiency: mitigating climate change
Moderated by Karen Simmonds of Travel Matters, we heard a powerful and human-centred presentation from mountaineer Gavin Bate detailing the transformation of energy management in a community in Nepal in which he spent many years living. Dr Stroma Cole then detailed the complex relationship between women and resource management, drawing out some fascinating insights from 10+ years of research into water management in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia. To finish, Marta Muslin presented her groundbreaking work in Indonesia promoting plastic recycling and the empowerment of women.
Disaster and Crisis in Tourism: Building resilience with a gender focus
Moderated by Jan Robinson, we heard some incredible experiences from members of the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction thanks to Liza Hernandez-Betancourth, GNDR Regional Lead for the Americas and Caribbean. Joyatri Ray of Equations explored the enormous impact of climate and COVID related crises in tourism in her area. To finish, Lucky Chhetri of 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking detailed the response to the earthquake in Nepal in 2015 and underlined the importance of communication and collaboration during disasters.
All three presentations featured the resilience of women-led and women-focused responses to disasters, and this was really summed up by a powerful quote Liza brought us from the Women’s Agenda for World Humanitarian Day 2017:
“When a woman is supported to lead a disaster response and recovery process, she rebuilds more than buildings… she builds her resilience and that of others under her care, enabling communities to recover from shocks and stresses faster, and prepare for disasters before they occur.”Women’s Agenda for World Humanitarian Day 2017