This is an invitation to participate to the debate after the Un Women-Unwto Report.
We see, up to now, mainly three approaches, meeting, among others, the following requirements.
1- looking for set indicators.
The Un Women Unwto Global Report on Women in Tourism collects data on employment, case studies, education, entrepreneurship, community. In conclusion it recommends to:<< support women’s enterprises; improve the
educational level of women already working in different areas of the industry; support women’s tourism leadership at all levels: public sector, private sector, and community>>. And regarding stakeholders it recommends: << To private sector to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment as fundamental components of Corporate Social Responsibility activities, in line with the Global Compact-UN Women’s Women’s Empowerment Principles. To International organisations and civil society to develop programs and projects dedicated to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment through tourism. To Public sector including tourism policy-makers: to take proactive steps to mainstream gender in tourism policy, planning, and operations>>.
2- requiring a reframing of policies
Lucy Ferguson on her Article “Promoting gender equality and empowering women? Tourism and the third Millennium Development Goals”, after a long investigation, reminds, among other things, that: <<it must be clearer what is meant by ‘gender equality’; policy-makers should take social reproduction seriously; gender and tourism policies would beneﬁt from a more open and honest discussion of what kind of ‘empowerment’ is desirable and feasible>>. And in conclusion: << As the evidence suggests, economic empowerment through tourism work does not automatically translate into a meaningful redress of power relations beyond a relative improvement in economic conditions. A more open debate would allow gender and tourism policies to move beyond narrow, market-based conceptualisations, and to present more creative and innovative ways of achieving MDG3. This era of global economic uncertainty presents an opportunity for re-assessing values and processes. Feminist ideas and politics have a strong role to play in this, and have the potential to reframe policy debates and promote transformative social change>>.
3- going on the field.
The website http://www.genderresponsibletourism.org/ , wants to help women in a practical way. The aim is to create a worldwide knowledge base of resources, useful to women and social organizations, in increasing gender empowerment and development through socially- and environmentally-responsible tourism entrepreneurship projects.
The website is a first attempt to collect voices of women “who made it”, examples of associations working in sustainable tourism, guide lines and suggestions of experts, and to spread them to isolated women, to women entrepreneurs, to Institution, to stakeholders. It is based on the data that the Italian Association of Responsible Tourism Gender Focus established: these data are precisely the same data pointed out by the Un Report. Under-payments, under-representation, working in the shadow, good aptitude etc. are daily facts, in Italy and everywhere. Given for granted data, needs, processes and recommendations, it is necessary to start a concrete work. For this reason it is divided in the sections Education, Work, Making Projects etc. The Section that will be a real resource is Travel: it lists the travel establishments whose profits go to women.
In a line: the website is a communication tool, “teaching” with real ideas a better way, to those who deal with tourism.