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UN Tourism Calls on Sector to Invest In Women

UN Tourism has issued an urgent call to “invest in women” and accelerate progress towards gender equality across the sector.

As the world marked International Women's Day, the United Nations Specialised Agency celebrated the achievements of women in tourism while highlighting the fact that women remain under represented in leadership positions, face barriers to career progression and have limited access to education and training.  

This year's theme, #InvestInWomen, highlighted the need for investment to address the projected annual deficit of USD 360 billion in funding if the world is to achieve the global gender equality goals set under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Sustainable Development Goal 5 – to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. 

The group described the potential benefits of increased investment in women, with evidence showing that closing gender gaps could boost GDP per capita by 20% and create almost 300 million jobs in the global economy by 2035. 

“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" says UN Tourism Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili. "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 week leading up to International Women’s Day, UN Tourism ran a webinar series in different world regions calling on governments, businesses, civil society organisations, and individuals to take concrete actions to invest in women and promote gender equality in the tourism sector. These included: 

  • Implementing policies and initiatives that promote gender equality and women's empowerment in tourism, including 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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