Why gender should be at the heart of COVID-19 recovery

Photo of women from Equality in Tourism's 'Farm for the Future' project

Equality in Tourism trustee, Angela Kalisch, expands on a recent op-ed piece by Jeremy Sampson, from The Travel Foundation, elaborating on the organisation’s intention to firmly place communities at the heart of the recovery process from COVID-19.

Many of us in the sustainable/responsible tourism field have been working to put communities at the centre of the sustainable tourism debate for about three decades. Let’s for instance remember Tourism Concern’s strapline in the 1990’s of ‘Putting People in the Picture’. Their archive is still available on the Travindy website, for those who are interested.

It is therefore encouraging that Jeremy Sampson, Chief Executive of The Travel Foundation, recently published a LinkedIn post elaborating the organisation’s intention to firmly place communities at the heart of the recovery process from COVID-19.

Research shows that women’s empowerment, apart from the individual, social and economic benefits to women, can create healthier, more cohesive communities. It thereby also contributes to community resilience in times of crisis. So, putting gender equality at the heart of recovery of communities as part of a diversity strategy, which accepts the reality of intersectionality, is imperative. For this to happen, a gender lens needs to be trained on all policy making and action planning.

This should include (prepare yourself, this is a long list):

  • Inclusion of women and girls in all decision-making fora for tourism planning and implementation
  • Focus on collecting disaggregated gender data based on intersectional criteria in consultation with relevant civil society organisations
  • Practical support with care provision
  • Gender sensitive training on sustainable tourism development
  • Finance and business planning
  • Financial incentives for sustainable tourism business start-ups
  • Legal advice

… and whatever else is deemed necessary in different local contexts.

This is an excerpt from an article by Angela Kalisch, originally published on Equality in Tourism


Travindy is an independent website featuring news and opinion on all issues to do with tourism and sustainability. Written primarily for an industry audience, our aim is to support the transformation of the sector into one that is regenerative, restorative and fully inclusive.

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