press release
Published: 08 March 2024

Commentary: IWD 2024: Gender equality for sustainable tourism.

The following expert comment below was written by Dr Albert Kimbu, Reader and Head of Department of Tourism and Transport at the University of Surrey  about his views on achieving gender equality for sustainable tourism development.

Dr Albert Kimbu

“As we celebrate International Women's Day tomorrow, I want to highlight the crucial role of gender equality in achieving sustainable and inclusive tourism development. Recent publications by the Gender, Entrepreneurship and Social Policy Institute (GESPi) at the University of Surrey has offered timely insights into this critical area. These works emphasize the need for a gender lens approach that recognises the unique challenges women face in tourism, from climate change and digital access to structural inequalities.

“This year's IWD theme, "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress" resonates deeply with our research. As a sector, we need to invest in:

  • Gender-transformative approaches that address systemic inequalities and empower women in the tourism industry.
  • Intersectionality to understand how various forms of discrimination interact and impact women differently.
  • Women's representation and career progression at all levels, alongside increased access to resources and support for female entrepreneurs.
  • Quality data collection to inform evidence-based policies and interventions that promote gender equality in tourism.

“By investing in these areas, we can create a more inclusive and equitable tourism industry where women can thrive and contribute to a sustainable future for all. Let’s use this International Women's Day as a springboard for action. Let's commit to dismantling barriers and creating a tourism sector that truly empowers women.”

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