Women rights in tourism matter
8 Mar 2021

Women rights in tourism matter.

Could tourism restart from women? Yes, if we follow the guidelines according to a Gender Impact Assessment, that we will discuss in our Working Group on Gender Equality and Diversity.

Let’s follow the political debate in recent months, from the main statement: "Re-construction after the crisis must make it possible to redistribute labour inequalities once and for all; and there will be no recovery without gender equality, benefiting the whole society". That gender equality occupies a central role, has now been ratified by the UN Agenda 2030 and also reaffirmed by the G20 with the W20.

Indeed, we could not possibly say that we have made a good start: in fact, despite many statements in the proposals of individual governments and Europe, the objective of "growing society with gender equity" is not at the core, because the funds do not go in the right direction. Among thousands of women’s associations that have risen Alexandra Geese, MEP Greens/EFA, launched the Manifesto #halfofit: “Europe is developing a 500 billion Euro Resilience Recovery Instrument plan, that will not offer jobs to women who are now losing it. Not investing in half the population that is out of the labour market means risking failure”.

Moreover, as I will discuss at the Panel on Human Rights at the Berlin’s ITB on March 9th, as it reads in the “Gender Impact Assessment #nextGenerationEU Leaves Women Behind”: “Gender equality should be at the centre of the recovery because women have the right to equality. If relations, pay, discrimination, access to credit, decisions, health, times, are unfair, these rights are hindered, and with them are the rights of all”.

All of this is not understood, due to a cultural delay in countries and in the political class, says Linda Laura Sabbadini Chair 2021 at W20: “It must be clear, once and for all, that women are not a category, a ‘sector to which to give crumbs. They are half the world. The pandemic today affects the service sector and precarious jobs. This is why women lose more “.

In the same way, the enormity of the crisis of tourism also weighs on their shoulders: here too, women occupy the lowest and most easily discriminable positions and, moreover, they are the majority in the sector.

As explained by the research “Gender Equality for a better normal of tourism” by Ruspini and Paesante, Bicocca University: “In two words: there is a mismatch between policy and framework of action. In fact, in Europe, despite the fact that 53% of women are employed in tourism, they have little decision-making power. And now the pandemic has widened gender inequality. In Italy, for example, 90% of new unemployed in December 2020 are women: 312.000 of them lost their job in the services sector, including tourism. According to ILO, in 2021 we saw a +5 of women unemployment rate and a +20 of the unemployment rate in tourism worldwide”.

The solution is to go through the steps of a gender assessment plan.

An example comes from Valentina Cardinali, labour market and policy expert, on InGenere magazine, who outlines the way forward for all: “Measurable results, a grid starting from the state of the art, a clear objective, minimal and essential guidelines, positive actions, the establishment of indicators, characteristics, relevant elements to monitor and evaluate. This is, in extreme simplification, a cycle of evaluation that we lower in gender perspective, specifically requested by the European Parliament Resolution on the Next Generation EU, but completely missing in the plan”.

The result? Not a mainstreaming that disseminates actions but a concrete impact parallel to other key measures of governments, against the virus and against poverty. The goals are greater economic independence of women, passing through equal representation decision-making, education, access to digital technology and collection of disaggregated data by gender.

These measures are very similar to those that can be taken in tourism projects, as dozens of suggestions published by the most important organizations say, and are useful to organize a "gender strategy" within ISTO.

Now, ISTO could be the first to adapt these measures to tourism projects, with great visibility. It will be interesting to discuss in our working group the main points that I will launch, with Equality in Tourism, at the March 9th Panel on Human Rights in a Call to Action, on seven guidelines, from Gender Impact Assessments, to harassment reporting, to data and promotion. Follow us, it will be a new start!