Women in travel: Empowering women through local tourism
When this first did the rounds on Twitter, the reaction of the team here at Adventure HQ went something like this: a sharp intake of breath, closely followed by furious indignation and flashes of Beyoncé-style ‘Run the world’ ass-kicking fantasy montage (quickly dispelled, none of us quite have the legs for it TBH. Plus, you know, looked waaaay too sandy). Ending with awed appreciation as the penny cleverly drops at the end.
Why do we mention it? Because the theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is #EachforEqual, and working together to create a gender-equal world. And women in travel are especially important to us. Plus, according to our partners, G Adventures, “Women make up over half of the tourism workforce, and yet they are often underpaid and have limited opportunities to move into higher positions in their jobs”.
The answer? Via their non-profit organization, Planeterra, G Adventures is working to redress the balance by setting up social enterprises in many of the places where they run trips. Of the 58 self-sustaining G for Good projects already built into their itineraries, 13 are directly focused on empowering women through education, entrepreneurship and job training.
Women in travel
Women on Wheels, New Delhi, India
Employs: 191 people | Indirectly benefits 1,200 community members
Quit with the women are bad driver jokes, already. Traditional gender roles in India make it hard for many women to access the same education and employment opportunities as men. One airport transfer at a time, Women On Wheels is helping to address that by training local women to become commercial drivers. It also provides a safe pick-up option for female travelers.
Experience the project: Want to jump aboard a good cause and help support women in travel? G Adventures tours out of Delhi use Women On Wheels for their airport transfers.
Sisterhood of Survivors, Pokhara, Nepal
Employs: 43 people | Indirectly benefits 3,700 community members
Each year, there are an estimated 7,000 women and girls trafficked out of Nepal into India. It’s a sad fact that often when authorities have intervened and sought prosecution, it has been the victims who have been arrested and fined, only to be bailed out by traffickers and further exploited. The local non-profit, SASANE, works to break this cycle of corruption by training survivors and at-risk women as paralegals.
Alongside SASANE, G Adventures developed the Sisterhood of Survivors program, where women teach travelers how to make traditional momos (dumplings). This has not only provided the non-profit with their first sustainable income but has also given women in tourism meaningful employment. And well, did we mention the momos?
Experience the project: The majority of G Adventures tours that visit Pokhara stop at the project for lunch.
Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Co-op, Sacred Valley, Peru
Employs: 60 people | Indirectly benefits 440 community members
Despite almost four million travelers visiting Cusco each year, few indigenous communities around Cusco and Machu Picchu benefit from that tourism. For the isolated community of Ccaccaccollo in Peru’s Sacred Valley, G Adventures employs the men to work as porters and cooks for their Inca Trail programs. Approached in 2005 by the women of the community, they went on to help set up the weaving co-op. Not only does this now give 55 women a sustainable form of income, but also helps to preserve traditional weaving practices.
For the women of Ccaccaccollo, being able to contribute to their family’s income has been life-changing. When STA Travel visited this year, we were told stories of how their children are starting to attend university and are the first generation to be completely literate in Spanish.
Experience the project: For your own ethically-made Alpaca knits, most G Adventures tours out of Cusco visit the weaving co-op as part of their itinerary. This is Jack, our Content Producer, modeling his:
Sthree Craft Shop & Café, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Employs: 115 people | Indirectly benefits 1,000 community members
The Women’s Development Centre is a Sri Lankan non-profit that helps to combat violence against women and increase gender equality. G Adventures got involved to revitalize and revamp their craft shop and café, Sthree. Via a grant and steady flow of travelers, the social enterprise has provided a platform for women to gain financial stability, as well as give a more stable source of funding for their shelter for abused women.
Experience the project: Eat at the Sthree café on all G Adventures Sri Lanka itineraries that visit Kandy.
Café Ubuntu, Nakuru, Kenya
Employs: 400 people | Indirectly benefits 1,200 community members
Ubuntu is a local Kenyan non-profit that helps to create jobs and empower local women around Maai Mahiu, a town along the major tourist and trade route through Kenya – also sadly known as the AIDS Highway.
G Adventures got involved to support Ubuntu Made and Ubuntu Café by including a stop at the café and shop on all of their Kenya itineraries. These social businesses in turn help to fund the Ubuntu School, established to help combat injustice and support children with different needs via therapy, education, and vocational training.
Experience the project: All G Adventures trips through Kenya stop for lunch at the project.
Inspired? See the world and make a difference by supporting women in travel. Check out all G Adventures trips.