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UNWTO: Women’s Empowerment Takes Centre Stage in Tourism Recovery

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has launched the Centre Stage project, placing women’s empowerment and gender equality at the heart of recovery plans in tourism.

The project will run over the course of one year – from November 2021 – November 2022 – and include training sessions with a gender focus, personalized guidance aiming to improve working conditions for women in the sector and producing data on the effects of the pandemic on female employment in tourism.

Women make up more than half of the tourism workforce at a global level (54 percent), according to the Global Report on Women in Tourism, Second Edition. However, women are often concentrated in low-skilled or informal work and have fewer opportunities for education and career development. As a result, women in the sector have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, with less access to social protections and a reduced capacity to absorb the economic shock caused by the pandemic.

Under the Centre Stage project, the participating National Tourism Administrations and tourism businesses will implement a one-year action plan containing a series of concrete measures designed to increase opportunities for women’s empowerment. They will be supported by local NGOs, professional organizations and be accompanied by UNWTO through a series of virtual and in-person training opportunities.

Photo source: UNWTO

The measures included in the Action Plans span the 6 areas of work considered key for gender equality and women’s empowerment in tourism: Employment; Entrepreneurship; Education and training; Leadership, policy and decision making; Community and civil society; Measurement for better policies.

A total of 10 tourism businesses and four NGOs/community organizations will join the participating National Tourism Administrations to implement the measures.

The project has been launched with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and UN Women.

It will be piloted in four participating member states in collaboration with the National Tourism Administrations of Jordan (MOTA), Costa Rica (ICT), the Dominican Republic (MITUR) and Mexico (SECTUR).

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