International Women’s Day is a key date in the calendar for organisations who work to advance women and girl’s rights, as it provides the opportunity to raise awareness about sexism and a broader call to action on advancing global gender equality. Regardless of how unique the last 12 months have been, this year is no different. Indeed, the impact the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had in regressing global gender equality across professional, care, educational and economic frontiers has been widely documented (United Nations Population Fund, 2021). In light of this, the aims of International Women’s Day have arguably never been more important.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge. This campaign calls on people to individually challenge the gender bias and inequality which is evident around them, whether that be at work, in public or at home. It is based on the empowering idea that everyone has responsibility for dismantling the patriarchy in our societies and workplaces, and that everyone is capable of helping to advance society towards gender parity, one challenge at a time!
Inspired by the message of #ChoosetoChallenge, Equality in Tourism has developed its own series, ‘5 Questions 4 Change’. When considering the theme, Equality in Tourism reflected on the importance of hearing from women who work directly in the tourism industry in order to gain insight about how gender bias affects their role within the industry.
As such, we interviewed women from across 6 continents about their experiences, guiding the conversations through 5 overarching questions. These are: what are women’s personal experiences of sexism working within the tourism industry? What are the key barriers to gender equality across the industry? What measures should both the government/ tourists themselves take to challenge gender bias? How could the pandemic also serve as an opportunity to challenge and improve gender equality in the tourism industry?
Equality in Tourism will be publishing answers to one question each day w/c 8th March 2021. By hearing women’s stories, Equality in Tourism calls on everyone to #ChoosetoChallenge gender equality in the tourism industry, just like the women we interviewed.
ReferencesUnited Nations Population Fund, 2021. Covid-19: A Gender Lens. Protecting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and Promoting Gender Equality. [online] New York: United Nations, pp.2-3. Available at: <https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdf/COVID-19_A_Gender_Lens_Guidance_Note.pdf> [Accessed 1 March 2021].