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How can tourism contribute to the empowerment of women?

As highlighted by the fifth Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations, one of the main purposes to reach an equitable, prosperous and sustainable society is to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls around the world.

Today, many women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence globally. A problem that has many edges and that, in the labour market, translates into a gender gap for which, on average, women occupy only a 27% of managerial positions worldwide.

However, more and more sectors, institutions and initiatives are taking an active role to contribute to solving this problem. A commitment to which, of course, the tourism industry is not excluded.

But how can tourism really contribute to improving this situation?

An industry with great potential

The tourism sector represents an important gateway for women to the labour market, especially in developing or less developed countries. In fact, the participation of women in the hotel and restaurant services industry represents 55.5% worldwide.

Taking advantage of this potential to seek equity and give women their rightful role in society is a responsibility for all the agents involved in the industry. From public administrations to companies, through organisations and other entities, they must collaborate to achieve equity in terms of accessibility to all types of employment, such as wages and working conditions.

The need to identify successful initiatives and replicate them

To achieve this, it is essential to know initiatives that promote good practices for promoting equity with the aim of replicating and expanding them. We must take advantage of their experience and journey in order to add positive impact.

The FiturNext 2021 Challenge is based precisely on this, the Fitur observatory in charge of identifying, analysing and giving value to practices with a positive impact on the tourism sector through replicability. After a first edition focused on the contribution of tourism to local economic development, FiturNext focuses next year's agenda on the industry's contribution to gender equality and female empowerment.

The project has just closed its open call for good practices, a process that has been complex in the context of the Covid-19 situation. Still, many initiatives with positive impact have been found for the 2021 challenge. Over the next few months, the FiturNext team will analyse the proposals received, measure their replicability and impact and will proceed to the selection of the finalist and winning projects at the end of the year. The three winning initiatives will be invited to the Fitur 2021 fair and be awarded. In the same way, the finalists will be given a special mention and will also have an active participation in the programme.

We hope that the conclusions drawn from the project will contribute to improving the sector and the situation of women.

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