Message by UNWTO Secretary General on the occasion of International Women´s Day
Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives
Tourism can be a leading promulgator of gender equality as it offers a wide range of jobs for women, particularly in developing regions and rural areas where women still face major hardships. Indeed, there are many destinations around the world that rely upon the commitment and motivation of women working at all levels of the tourism supply chain. Yet the reality is that today women still often suffer from stereotyping and discrimination within the global tourism workforce.
As one of the sectors with the highest share of women both employed and as entrepreneurs, if gender equality is integrated into tourism planning and business development, we all gain. Greater gender equality impacts positively on the profitability, sustainability and overall competitiveness of the tourism sector.
Tourism can promote women's empowerment through formal employment, which also impacts at the household and community level – contributing to the 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 5, 'Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls', and other SDGs calling for inclusion and equal rights for all (Goals 1, 8, 10 and 11).
This International Women's Day, I call upon the global tourism community to maximize every opportunity to raise awareness of gender inequality in tourism, and to help mainstream gender issues in tourism policies and strategies.
If we all work together we can realize the equal and inclusive future that we want and help to solve the world's greatest human rights challenge: achieving true gender equality, social and economic parity between the sexes, and empowering the women that bring success not just to travel and tourism, but to world development as a whole.
Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Rut Gómez Sobrino
Principal Media Officer
Phone: (+34) 91 567 81 60
About World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism"s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development. UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects in over 100 countries around the world. UNWTO"s membership includes 156 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 400 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities. For more information visit www.unwto.org.