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UN Tourism accelerates gender equality

 

UN Tourism has issued an urgent call for increased investment in women to expedite progress towards gender equality within the sector.

As the globe observes International Women’s Day on March 8, the United Nations Specialised Agency acknowledges women’s accomplishments in tourism while emphasising their underrepresentation in leadership roles, encountering barriers to career advancement, and limited access to education and training.

This year’s theme, #InvestInWomen, underscores the necessity for investment to address the projected annual deficit of USD 360 billion in funding required to achieve the global gender equality goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 5 – attaining gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

International Women’s Day offers an ideal moment for reflection on the progress made and the substantial investment needed to attain gender equality in the tourism sector. The potential benefits of increased investment in women are significant, with evidence indicating that closing gender gaps could enhance GDP per capita by 20% and generate nearly 300 million jobs in the global economy by 2035.

UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili remarks, “International Women’s Day provides the perfect opportunity for us to reflect on the progress that has been made and call out the huge investment that is needed for us to reach gender equality in the tourism sector. In many countries, we are seeing the fruits of previous investment, but more is needed to help unlock new opportunities for economic growth, social inclusion, and sustainable development.”

Supporting Members to Take Concrete Actions
In the lead-up to International Women’s Day, UN Tourism conducted a webinar series in various world regions, urging governments, businesses, civil society organisations, and individuals to take concrete actions to invest in women and promote gender equality in the tourism sector. These actions include:

• Implementing policies and initiatives that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in tourism, encompassing equal pay, access to education, training, and leadership opportunities.

• Supporting women-owned businesses, enterprises, and initiatives in the tourism value chain.

• Fostering partnerships and collaboration to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in tourism at the local, national, and international levels.

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