Updated: Mar 7, 2020
As International Women’s day draws near, we at Global Family Travels have been thinking a lot about ways to empower women. Specifically, we have been dreaming up trips that promote gender equality.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but is a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
Photo Credit: Kiran Anjali Project
As a company that is entirely owned and run by women, Global Family Travels sees community-based tourism as an opportunity to support women and girls around the world. With our “Learn, Serve, Immerse” message in mind and heart, we have created several Girl Empowering trips for our travelers: A Social Impact trip to Peru in April of 2020 in support of two incredible NGOs; a trip to Bali in October of 2020, where we’ll engage with two inspiring organizations in Bali that are working towards these goals, and our Empower Girls trip to India in February, 2021 in partnership with the Kiran Anjali Project. (read more about these trips below!)
Photo Credit: Kiran Anjali Project
Gender Equality (UNSDG #5) and Why it Matters
In their outstanding book Half the Sky, New York Times columnists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn argue for investing in the health and autonomy of women worldwide. As the authors point out, it is impossible for countries to climb out of poverty when only a fraction of women are in the labor force. In Pakistan, for example, only 9 percent of women work. China's dramatic growth in the global economy was fueled by women's economic empowerment. Today 80 percent of the factory workers in the Guangdong province are female and, amazingly, six of the 10 richest self-made women in the world are Chinese.
Educating girls has an enormous impact on a society, particularly in underdeveloped countries where 31 million girls are not enrolled in school. And think of 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.
The World for Women Today
The statistics surrounding gender discrimination are alarming:
18% of partnered women and girls aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical and/or sexual partner violence in the previous 12 months. In the least developed countries, that number jumps to 24%.
At least 200 million girls worldwide have been subjected to female genital mutilation.
Women spend roughly three times more time than men on unpaid care and domestic work, which means less time available for paid work.
Women are dramatically underrepresented at all levels of political leadership. Representation in national parliaments is under 25%.
While women represent 39% of world employment, only 27% of that is managerial positions.
3 Girl-Empowering Trips In Every Way
Here are three impactful, family-friendly trips that Global Family Travels has designed specifically to promote gender equality:
April 2020: Support Local Female Artisans in Peru
Our nine-day Peru trip in April 2020 offers the opportunity to serve and learn from local women. You’ll visit ancient ruins, stay with a local family, and explore Machu Picchu. Global Family Travels partners with Awamaki, a nonprofit whose mission is to give rural Andean women a skills-based education and connect them to the global marketplace through tourism. You’ll visit indigenous villages where Awamaki’s artisan partners demonstrate their crafts and their way of life. Tourism lets women access the cash economy and allows them to invest in their families. They can buy food, pay school fees or put on a new roof or floor.
Photo Credit: Awamaki
“One of the most powerful effects of tourism in the community is how the women have taken leadership. They elected one of the women to be a tourism leader who is responsible for coordinating the tours and the homestays and communicating to the group who needs to show up on what day. Initially, they wanted the men to organize the tourism, or Awamaki staff, but we told them we could only bring in tourists if they took the responsibility. Now, the women are managing it all themselves, and earning all the money too! This year we are training them to receive tourists and give a tour when the tourists are not accompanied by a guide from Awamaki. This will enable them to earn a sustainable income in the future and not be dependent on any one NGO or client to bring them tourists."
– Kennedy Leavens, Executive Director, Awamaki
October 2020: Bali: Learn, Serve & Immerse
On our 12-day our Bali: Learn Serve & Immerse trip, we’ll engage with two inspiring organizations in Bali that are working towards helping women and girls gain equal access to education and work opportunities. Our trip has a balance of cultural and global learning and adventure to ensure that travelers are learning to be global citizens while having fun.
During the trip, we will learn from Bali Wise about how the organization helps empower marginalized women through skills education as a means to develop sustainable communities in Indonesia. We will also enjoy dinner at a local Women’s Center where hear the founder’s story and her dream to create a space to support local women. On this trip, we will also help tackle some of Bali's biggest challenges by engaging with local water conservation projects and supporting Life below Water.
An island famous for its stunning beaches, captivating culture and mystical traditions, you’ll learn about the Tri Hita Karana, the central philosophy of the Balinese people, enjoy a fun music workshop, witness a performance of the Balinese Legong dance, sample the flavors of delicious Balinese cuisine, and explore the backroads of Bali’s heartland on two wheels.
February 2021: Empower Girls in India with KAP
In India, girls get fewer than four years of education, on average, in a lifetime. Only one in 100 rural Indian girls completes the equivalent of high school. With this in mind, Global Family Travels has partnered with the Kiran Anjali Project (KAP), a nonprofit that provides financial support to Indian charities that help educate some of the country’s poorest girls. On our last KAP trip to India, travelers had an opportunity to learn firsthand how equal access to education has been life-changing for many girls. You can read one traveler’s insights here: Finding Friendship in India with the Kiran Anjali Project.
Our nine-day trip in February 2021 will begin in New Delhi and Agra, taking in the sights and sounds, including a visit to the Taj Mahal. You will have the opportunity to visit the Kiran Anjali Project’s partner programs in both Bangalore and Hyderabad, as well as take in some of the area’s heritage sights.
Whether you are learning a popular dance, tasting a wide variety of delicious foods or strolling through colorful Indian markets, all of your senses will be fully engaged by this diverse and fascinating country. Spending time with the students and staff at the Kiran Anjali Project’s partner programs will also offer a focused window into the daily life, struggles, and aspirations of children living in poverty. You will get to know the local culture through their eyes, by participating in cultural games and sharing stories with the students.
Girl Power in Seattle!
Do you live in the Seattle area? Join us at our Be Bold Seattle event on March 5, 2020 at Benaroya Hall to hear influential speakers who inspire and empower women. On March 8, the day of the Women’s March, the Evo Seattle store will host a panel with influential women in the outdoor industry.
In addition, students in the 3rd through 12th grades in Washington State can enter the 2020 World Citizen Essay Contest, hosted by the Seattle World Affairs Council. This year’s essay focuses on UNSDG #5 and is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on what we’ve touched on in this post. And, if you want to learn more about these important gender equality issues, the Council's Global Classroom program has an amazing resource packet .
Global Family Travels is excited for these upcoming trips and joyful at the opportunity to take action for gender equality. In the words of Malala Yousafzai, “we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
2021: Join us at Wanderfest, A Travel Festival for women
Want to meet Global Family Travels in person and support this important cause where you can meet other women travel lovers from around the world? We invite you to join us at Wanderfest in New Orleans from March 13-14, 2021 for inspiration, music, a whole women-owned travel marketplace, parades down the French Quarter, lasting sisterhood and so much more! Get tickets: wanderfestevent.com