It’s time to start thinking about how you can help women in the world for International Women’s Day 2020. We’ve outlined eight ways you can make your money and travel have an impact.
Women around the globe are innovating and leading. From setting up anti-poaching units in South Africa to running culinary tours in Mexico City, they’re overcoming obstacles to innovate. Supporting travel is an excellent way to promote women in the industry. However, with over half of this industry being women and most of them working in lower-paid manual jobs, we are not investing in these women when we do not travel. Women can benefit from sustainable and local travel around the world. It helps to create community, overcome obstacles (like the pandemic that financially affected many women working in lower-paid jobs), and educate girls for a more equitable future. We’ve rounded up some ways that travel can help to tip the scales in favor of women.
Women Traveling Together
Some companies curate trips, tours, and expeditions specifically for women. After a brief hiatus, Intrepid Travel just relaunched their series of Women’s Expeditions. The trips aim to help women affected by the pandemic. They support communities in Peru and India. All tour leaders are women who provide insight into daily life and the challenges that women in other countries face. Many of these women feel the economic impact most while having less government support than women with higher-paid jobs.
Wild Terrains, another player in this camp, offers small-group trips for women only and supports women-owned businesses in the countries they visit (Argentina. Iceland, Portugal. France, Mexico). Girls Trip Tours runs trips to Africa for women, with activities centered around women’s empowerment.
Women-owned businesses are a good choice.
Statistics show that women are less likely than men to benefit financially from chain hotels, restaurants, or souvenir shops. You can use some simple tools to narrow down your search for women-owned businesses like Woman Owned. You can also find a variety of alternative accommodation options that are operated by women and support local communities, including The Retreat Costa Rica and Casa Palopo. Look for local businesses to purchase souvenirs from. For example, Kazuri Beads, a Kenyan company run by women, produces traditional beadwork.
Some companies and individuals are taking it upon themselves to offer more stories and activities. Black Girls Hike focuses on providing hiking trips, training days, and activity days for women who are Black Afro/Caribbean. They aim to create a safe environment while encouraging women to reconnect with nature. Hike Clerb is an intersectional group that women can join in California. Eaton Canyon and Eagle Rock are some of the trails that showcase LA’s biodiversity. The focus of the courses is accessibility, and many walks include an element of activism.
Choose your tour guide.
You can ask for women tour guides or look out for companies who specialize in this when booking tours. If you book a trip in northern India with Varanasi Women Tours, run by Priya Panday, it will help to support the only woman tour guide there. ToursByLocals is a program that aims to empower women in the area to become tourism entrepreneurs and earn a decent wage. The site allows women to book tour guides for countries and regions all over the world. Intrepid offers the same service, partnering with Women in Travel and creating Urban Adventures to celebrate multiculturalism in the city with women-led tours and guides.
Taste for aid
Break bread all over the world with companies that promote women’s rights through food. Salt & Wind offers immersive food experiences in California, Hawaii, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and France. It is women-owned. Eat Like a Local, based in Mexico City, is run by Rocio. You can also try Naya Traveler for food tours curated for women in Spain or Traveling Spoon, where over 80% of hosts are women. The company’s goal is to provide economic opportunities to local women and food producers in many destinations.
You can support local women by celebrating local crafts and contributing financially to them. TreadRight Foundation can be a useful tool. It’s a not-for-profit that is linked to Red Carnation Hotels and aims to make a positive difference to people, communities, marine life, wildlife, and the environment. As part of the initiative, the TreadRight Foundation encourages and enables communities to flourish through community-based travel. Search the website to find out how you can contribute, such as taking a moccasin-making lesson at the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, to support Indigenous women or participating in an educational trip to Iraq al-Amir to help fund local women who are preserving local heritage.
Traveling with women?
Black Trans Travel Fund was created as a grassroots group to help Black transgender women travel more safely. Donating to the collective allows your money to be used to support Black transgender women to travel safely. Book a tour with Exodus Travels’ The Mountain Lioness Scholarship to help women travel the world.
Women protecting wildlife
Sustainability is a complex issue. But by supporting women in the field, we can make a difference. Look for women-led initiatives to support when booking eco trips. In South Africa’s Balule Nature Reserve, the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit is an excellent example. The all-woman unit guards the boundaries of the reserve against poachers. The project aims to empower women and educate the public on how to live in harmony with wildlife. Donating to these initiatives can create a more regenerative future.