Tag Archive for: #IWD2024


Throughout this month, we’ll be amplifying voices from diverse backgrounds, highlighting their experiences and insights. Embracing this year’s theme, ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’, we are committed to fostering women’s integration and empowerment within the realm of tourism through a series: ‘Women In Tourism’.

Join us as we celebrate and champion women’s role in shaping the future of our industry.

Empowering Women for Sustainable Tourism in Kenya

Tourism has a huge impact on the global economy, helping to create jobs and eliminate poverty. Despite being the industry’s largest workforce, women continue to face challenges and roadblocks to professional advancement and leadership roles. To address this issue, the Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT), in collaboration with Ecotourism Kenya (EK), held a training and mentorship boot camp on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at the International Hotel & Tourism Institute (IHTI)

The platform brought forth women within the tourism industry who offered their experiences, challenges, and ideas for achieving gender equity in the tourist business. The sessions were guided by professionals George Ireri, Sheila Kutto, and Susan Onyango, all from EK who organized engaging discussions that enabled the participants to talk openly about their experiences and concerns.

The boot camp emphasized the importance of empowering women as a crucial step towards achieving sustainable tourism. Women’s empowerment can result in increased participation in decision-making, better working conditions, and the creation of more equitable possibilities for career advancement. The discussions revolved around how women can collaborate, network, and push for equity and equality in the tourism industry.

Winnie Maru, CEO of Tembea Africa Tours & Travel and a KAWT member, underlined that women should seek equity and equality. This includes recognizing and tackling the unique barriers that women experience in advancing their careers and taking on leadership responsibilities. Rosebell Mugambi, KAWT’s Tourism Specialist and Mentorship and Training Treasurer, underlined the importance of women seeing each other as collaborators rather than competitors. Women should speak up about the women within their space, offer mutual support, and identify components and locations in which they can thrive.

Another revelation was the significance of women collaborating with men to achieve sustainable tourism. Jacqueline Kali, a Board Member at KAWT, underlined that there are a variety of ways in which women and men can work together including lobbying for policies that promote women’s empowerment.

The boot camp also emphasized the issues that women experience in the profession, such as sexual harassment, a lack of accommodations for female guides, and disparities in remuneration. The participants identified opportunities and solutions to these concerns, such as advocating for change through women’s involvement in policymaking.

Finally, mentorship, networking, reskilling, and upskilling were all emphasized as vital components of strengthening women in the tourism industry. Women should attend conferences where they may discuss aligned policies and how they can be implemented and strictly adhered to through collaboration with stakeholders, the government, and the broader tourism industry.

Women’s empowerment is crucial for attaining sustainable tourism, and we all have a role to play in supporting this cause. It’s time for the tourism industry to recognize and address the specific challenges that women face and work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive industry for all.

Women in Tourism are resilient. Despite the challenges they continue to face, they still strive to achieve equity and equality in the tourism industry.