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Empowering Women Through Travel: Tips and Trips for International Women's Day 2024

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day reserved for celebrating the contributions and achievements of women across the world. At Global Family Travels, we understand the important roles that travel and tourism play in supporting and empowering women across the world and in promoting sustainable development. Keep reading to learn more and how you can support these causes!


Happy International Women's Day 2024

Invest in Women and Accelerate Progress - 2024 International Women’s Day Theme


This year, the United Nations (UN) has introduced the theme Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress. The UN and is asking society to acknowledge the plethora of challenges currently facing our society and ensure that all relevant solutions are women- centric. Along with this, the UN is placing its focus on the importance of achieving economic empowerment for women. In their book Half the Sky, New York Times columnists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn argue for the importance of investing in the health and autonomy of women worldwide in their book, Half the Sky, echoing the message of the UN. They assert that countries can only escape poverty when women are adequately involved in the labor force, pointing to China as a positive example in which women were included in the country’s economic growth.


Gender Equality (Global Goal 5): Why it Matters  


Gender Equality is the fifth of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). The UN asserts that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but also a necessary foundation to creating a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. Achieving gender equality by providing women with equal access to education, healthcare, work, and representation will create more sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.


Girl's Education and Gender Equality

As a company that is entirely women-founded and women-owned, Global Family Travels is especially dedicated to these goals, and we would like to share a few meaningful travel tips and trips to empower women and girls on your next travel adventure! 


Travel Tips to Empower Women and Girls 


Travel and tourism activities have the potential to contribute positively to almost all 17 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through its impacts on promoting decent jobs.  Improving gender equality is a critical tourism activity, as the UNWTO states: “As one of the sectors with the highest share of women employed and entrepreneurs, tourism can be a tool for women to unlock their potential, helping them to become fully engaged and lead in every aspect of society. A sustainable future for all involves ending discrimination against women and girls.” 


Statistics reveal that 54% of people employed in tourism are women, yet they hold less than 40% of the managerial positions and earn 14.7% less than men (UNWTO).  As travelers, we can choose meaningful ways to spend our time and money, to empower women and girls in the tourism sector.   Here are a few meaningful travel tips to support gender equality on your next adventure! 


  1.  Support Women-owned Businesses & Use Female Guides on Your Next Trip! 


When women generate income, they invest it in their families and communities, therefor supporting women-owned businesses is a worthy investment. No matter where you’re traveling to, we recommend doing a little research on what hotels, restaurants and stores are owned by women as much as you can! Also, a fun and fulfilling part of traveling is engaging with these women in the community you are visiting, and of course shopping for handicrafts made by hard-working women as a memory of your trip!   

 

A great resource to learn how to support women-owned businesses is Unearth Women, an empowering women’s travel magazine and resources that lifts women’s voices and creates feminist city guides.


Jaipur Pink City tour by women

Another great way to empower women on your next adventure is to hire female tour guides and drivers. For example, a great way to see the medieval Pink City of Jaipur, India is to do a tour on an ecofriendly Pink City rickshaw, driven by smart, enthusiastic and well trained women.


2.     Support Girls Education  


Educating girls has an enormous impact on a society, particularly in the some of the poorest countries of the world where an estimated 31 million girls are not enrolled in school.   Education is essential to break the cycle of poverty, and looking at the big picture: Girls who receive an education marry later, have fewer children, and are more likely to seek healthcare for themselves and their children, and as women they are more likely to have economic opportunities that wouldn't otherwise be available. 


Girls studying - Gender Equality

When you travel next, why not find a way to support literacy for girls in the destination you visit? While there are many global initiatives to support girls education, two non-profits you can research before you venture off are:

 

  • Room to Read, an organization that partners with schools to establish libraries and advocate with governments to ensure every child has access to child-friendly library, specifically focuses on girls’ education and early primary school for literacy acquisition and secondary school.

  • Working to help keep girls in school is Days for Girls (DfG), an organization that addresses period poverty by producing and distributing washable, sustainable menstrual period pads (DfG Kits) and delivering vital health education.  


3. Empower Women through Skills Training and Community-based Tourism 


Investment in skills training for women in the tourism sector leads to greater outcomes for gender equality. Unskilled women are often pushed into the informal sector and prone to manipulation, therefore we recommend looking for ways to support these training initiatives when you travel.  


Women weavers in Peru

Photo Credit: Awamaki

In Peru's Sacred Valley, for example, you can visit and engage with female artisans at Awamaki, a nonprofit whose mission is to give rural Andean women a skills-based education and connect them to the global marketplace through tourism. Tourism allows these women to access the cash economy and to invest in their families. They can buy food, pay school fees, or put on a new roof or floor.  


When you plan a trip of a lifetime to the beautiful Island of Bali, think about doing an Exchange for Change tour in support of Bali Wise, an organization that offers a 6-month skills in hospitality class to empower marginalized women.


Trips to support Women’s Empowerment and Community-based Tourism


Here at Global Family Travels, our mission is to use travel as means to foster global citizens and support local communities in the destinations we work in. Empowering women through travel is a central aspect of our work, and we are excited to join in celebrating International Women’s Day this year.


Our trips have always supported the objectives of gender equality, and to honor the celebration this year we have highlighted a few special trips uniquely focused on this goal. These trips help support increasing female education, assisting women’s skills training, and supporting women-owned businesses. They are also tailored to our special Learn, Serve, and Immerse travel pillars, ensuring that the travel experiences we develop are regenerative, supporting both local communities and the natural environment in the destination we visit. Notably, each of these trips is facilitated by a female guide!


Ladakh, India: A Sacred Pilgrimage with Buddhist Nuns


In June of 2024, Global Family Travels will lead a one-of-a-kind Sacred Pilgrimage with Buddhist Nuns, a trip that features cultural and mindfulness experiences, including learning about the commitment of the Ladakhi nuns to nurturing their communities and the environment. Led by Venerable Tenzin Dasel, an American-born Buddhist nun who lives and teaches in the Ladakh region, this trip offers the opportunity to Learn, Serve & Immerse with Buddhist nuns in Ladakh. The journey provides the experience of being side-by-side with the nuns, meditating, gardening, and serving their community while experiencing a peaceful pace centered on cooperation and compassion. Travelers will learn about the commitment of Ladakhi nuns and how they nurture their communities and the local environment.


Ladakh Nun's Trip - Empowering women through travel

Since its establishment, the Ladakh Nuns Association has provided opportunities for young girls who choose to become nuns, many from remote nomadic villages, access to secular and monastic education and to live in the nunnery with spiritual nurturing and care from the older nuns.  To foster the role of nuns, LNA has given them the opportunity to obtain higher education in Buddhist philosophy and Traditional Tibetan Medical studies within Ladakh.


Peru: A Regenerative Journey for Mother Earth, Sacred Traditions & Divine Feminine Energy


Known as Pachamama by the Incas, Mother Earth is seen as the feminine soul of nature and the provider of everything in life. In October of 2024, Global Family Travels is pleased to offer a 10-day regenerative journey for Pachamama to Peru's Sacred Valley. Through ancient Andean traditions of the Sacred Valley, we will learn journey to discover traditional ceremonies that connect the divine feminine energy with practices that steward the earth and offer a deeper connection to oneself and the planet.


Peru women Trip

Facilitated by Vicki Weeks, Peruvian Expert and Global Educator, this regenerative retreat offers opportunities to immerse in authentic Andean experiences, and is designed to support two impactful community organizations,  ANDES Association/ Potato Park and Awamaki. By engaging with these organizations, trip participants will learn firsthand from rural Andean women, farmers, Indigenous peoples and artisans who are deeply to connected to Pachamama.


Rwanda: Women’s Empowerment & Wildlife Adventure


From urban to rural, Global Family Travels ultimate Rwanda adventure to empower women gives travelers a deeper understanding of how Rwanda is seen as a global leader for the economic and political empowerment of women, and through this are able to provide a higher level of education, health care and standard of living for themselves and dependents.


Learn how Rwanda Empowers women

Since the devastating genocide of 1994, Rwandan leadership has helped to amplify gender equality and narrow the gender gap and the country is revered as the most pro-woman country in the world. Participants on this heartfelt Learn, Serve and Immerse 10-day journey to Rwanda will have an opportunity to learn firsthand about this remarkable achievement through engaging visits with representatives of non-profit organizations, who will share and their initiatives and programs supporting community members and women, and experience life and culture in the Kigali region.

 

Bali: A Regenerative Wellness Retreat Aligned with the Seven Chakras


In November of 2024, immersive yourself in a 10-day rejuvenating retreat in Bali to spark mental clarity and creative healing through cultural immersion and daily chakra-themed mindfulness practices. This ultimate Bali wellness program, facilitated by Djazia Belle, infuses connecting to yourself, community and immersion, to give travelers the opportunity to embrace their experiences, dive deep, support communities and celebrate the unique and traditional Balinese approach to wellness, health and human prosperity.


Bali Women's retreat

Each day you will rise on the majestic island of Bali and explore your seven primary chakras through practice and curated Balinese cultural activities, immersing in wellness experiences, such as an herbal walk, participating in traditional medicinal practices, meditation, arts and crafts, cultural dances, agricultural productions, and health/wellness centered organizations.


Uplifting Women in Travel through Community Partnerships


As a woman-owned company, it is important to us that Global Family Travels work with other woman-owned travel partners to uplift the women’s travel community as a whole. Below are a few couple of our travel partners that we align with this important goal:


Women Travel Leaders: Our Founder, Jennifer Spatz is a member of Women Travel Leaders (WTL), is an inspirational and influential group of female business owners, executives, influencers, journalists, managers, and directors from around the world. The WTL mission is to elevate diverse female industry professionals through community connections, peer-to-peer coaching, tailored community lead learning, and masterminding.


Wanderful:  If you’re feeling extra inspired to take the leap into solo world travel (or you’re just a fan of a good read!) we encourage you to read Wander Woman, by Beth Santos, the founder of another one of our partners, Wanderful.  In this book, you will uncover the best tips for solo-woman travel to allow you to have the most rewarding and empowering experience possible, while traveling sustainably and ethically.  And, Global Family Travels is proudly mentioned in the book!  


JourneyWoman:  Global Family Travels is a proud partner of JourneyWoman, the world’s largest and most trusted travel resources for women over 50. For some more travel inspiration, check out our directory listing at JourneyWoman.



Champion Female empowerment and gender equality!


As travelers, we have the power to make choices which support the empowerment of women and girls across the globe. Women make 80% of travel decisions and comprise two-thirds of all travelers. It is important for us to make an active effort to engage in travel which uplifts and empowers women, whether that be through volunteering for local organizations or supporting women-owned businesses.


It is important, not only today, but each and every day for us to champion female empowerment and gender equality. Whether abroad or in your own community, we hope you find a way to celebrate and honor the milestone that is International Women’s Day!


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