UNWTO presents regional report on women in tourism in the Middle East

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UNWTO presents regional report on women in tourism in the Middle East
Tue January 12, 2021

According to the report, less than one in 10 jobs is held by a woman, although this proportion is constantly increasing

The Regional Report on Women in Tourism in the Middle East, released today by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, highlights the progress that has been made, as well as opportunities for further progress. more on gender. equality in the sector.

The new publication, which complements the Global Report on Women in Tourism, Second Edition, was compiled within the framework of the G20 2020 Saudi Presidency. It highlights the positive steps that have been taken at the policy level in recent years, while demonstrating the work that is still needed to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 in the Middle East, particularly compared to other regions of the world. world.

The report's key findings show that:

8% of the people employed in tourism in the region are women, compared to 16% in the overall economy of the region. Globally, 54% of people employed in tourism are women compared to 39% in the overall global economy.
Women are well educated but do not enter the tourism workforce.
Women have higher rates of tertiary education than men, but are still significantly underrepresented in employment.
The public sector is leading the way for women in leadership positions.

21% of tourism ministers are women in the region compared to 23% globally

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Historically, tourism has provided abundant opportunities for the empowerment of women around the world. In the Middle East, although much remains to be done, our Member States are leading the way. As tourism reboots, we will work with them to ensure gender equality remains at the center of their recovery plans, empowering women to become financially independent, challenge stereotypes and start their own businesses. "

Gender gaps in employment and entrepreneurship

Reports also show that in SME employment, self-employment and ownership, women's participation is significantly lower than men's across the region with a reluctance to work in tourism. Concerns about work-life balance, work-life balance, and legislative barriers were found to be among the main contributing factors.

Public sector that provides opportunities

According to the latest data, 21% of regional tourism minister positions were held by women in 2019.The report also highlights a rich mosaic of women in senior positions in tourism and a number of policy-level initiatives such as the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, Egypt's Tourism Reform Program. and the Gender Balance Council of the United Arab Emirates.

La naturaleza reciente de muchas de estas iniciativas políticas significa que aún es demasiado pronto para evaluar los resultados, particularmente en el sector privado. Este informe tiene como objetivo actuar como punto de referencia para la investigación futura sobre los efectos de estas políticas y catalizar el trabajo futuro hacia la igualdad de género. La investigación también se ve considerablemente obstaculizada por la falta de recopilación y presentación de datos sobre turismo desglosados ​​por sexo, y la participación en la iniciativa incipiente de la OMT 'Midiendo la sostenibilidad del turismo' constituye una de las recomendaciones clave del informe.

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Tourism General Supervisor for International Cooperation, Ms. Haifa Al-Jedea, said: “Historically, women have played a vital role in tourism and, in light of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 , Saudi Arabia has made a concerted effort to facilitate and encourage more women to participate in the sector through improved legislation, new policies, education, support for SMEs and career development. We look forward to being a leader for the empowerment of women in tourism and we look forward to cooperating with our neighbors and international partners to break down any remaining gender barriers in tourism locally and internationally”.


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