8M: Today it’s all about women, tourism and South America
When someone visits us at Daytours4u and points out that the majority of us are women, it should not be surprising, because although it is not intentional, apparently it is not by chance. According to statistics from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and from the World Bank, it has been noted that in just about all of the regions of the world, the workforce of tourism is comprised mostly of women with the unfortunate differential that in the majority of cases as well, women hold the most limited and lowest paid jobs in tourism.
Amongst the goals of the United Nations, the fifth goal of Sustainable Development is: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” and in this vein, since 2007 when the UNWTO dedicated World Tourism Day to women’s issues with the slogan “tourism opens doors for women”, an important space opened up so that in this growing industry, values can start to be worked on; such as equality, the empowerment of women and the awareness of both within society.
But we are still far off the mark. In many of these jobs that women hold, very few are executive positions where the woman holds the power of decision making, in very few cases the business ventures of women achieve becoming official or even capitalizing on itself. And in other cases, like in family tourism businesses where it is the woman who is generally in charge of the logistical tasks or of service, working long daily shifts that occupy all of their “free” time or of leisure is the norm. These women are most likely not paid either.
Those of us that have tools and that, thanks to these women we have gotten up from many battles, we cannot remain daunted before the unfavorable situation that many women live all around us. All of us women, whether in a direct or indirect manner, in a major or minor degree, have suffered some type of abuse, some type of violence, we have been censored at some moment by society, we have been criticized or judged by our fellow human beings even for being who we are or for how we act.
This is why, the invitation today is for all of our women colleagues, travelers, and readers to become empowered, so that they can leave fear to the side, to go out and negotiate, defend their stances, show their eminence, to learn or to get assessed that which they DO NOT know without fear or embarrassment, to travel alone, to dance how they want to, to learn to show themselves and to make their position in the workplace one of value. The invitation is also for our fellow men, that they support this empowerment, that they question themselves about the salaries that their fellow women, wives, and women co-workers receive, so that they do not question a woman only for her condition but for her arguments, and so they can help to deconstruct these micro-aggressions that are commonplace and that harm us so much deep down in our being.
An empowered woman with rights can only benefit society and have a positive effect on future generations. That is why it is important that today, on the 8th of March, we unite in one voice that extends throughout all 365 days of the year with the only purpose of demanding equality for our rights amongst the human beings in every corner of the planet.
Some information of interest:
- In Costa Rica, the contribution of tourism to the GDP was 6.3% and 60% of the newly created jobs were held by women.
- Botswana, Japan, Mauritius, the United States are examples of countries where women who are socially, economically, psychologically, and politically empowered have multiple positive impacts that influence just as much at home as they do in the community.
- In Latin America, 51% of tourism companies are run by women. More than double in comparison to other fields. However, in the entire world, men are the ones who hold the management positions and duties with the most responsibility despite that women represent between 60% and 70% of the workers in the industry.
Written by: Nohelia Sanchez, CEO & Co-founder of Daytours4u