The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is marking International Women’s Day 2021, celebrated on March 8, with the release of an Inclusive Recovery Guide for women in tourism, compiled in collaboration with UN Women.
As the tourism sector enters the second year of an unprecedented crisis, the impact this has had on women in tourism has been made clear. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the pandemic, and the unprecedented drop in international tourist arrivals, risks rolling back progress made towards achieving gender equality and efforts to empower women and girls.
Guterres: Crisis has a woman’s face
“As the world marks International Women’s Day in the midst of a global pandemic, one stark fact is clear: the Covid-19 crisis has a woman’s face,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said.
UNWTO data shows that women make up the majority of the tourism workforce (54 percent). Women in tourism are also often concentrated in low-skilled or informal work. This means that they are feeling the economic shock caused by the crisis more acutely and quicker than their male counterparts. In many cases, they are cut off from the social and healthcare protections that are so vital in a global pandemic.
“Tourism is a proven driver of equality and opportunity. This unprecedented crisis has hit our sector’s women fast and hard, which is why gender equality and empowerment must be centre stage as we work together to restart tourism and accelerate recovery,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili underlined.
The Inclusive Recovery Guide provides recommendations to policymakers, businesses and civil society organizations active in tourism, in order to design gender-responsive measures amid the ongoing pandemic.