By Hafsa Obeng, GNA
Accra, June 28, GNA – A summit aimed at
advancing the status of women in tourism in Ghana has opened in Accra.
The summit the second in the series is also to
provide the necessary exposure and platform through which women would be
It is on the theme: “Women empowerment,
catalyst for establishing a sustainable tourism Business.”
It is being organised under the auspices of
the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) by the Ghana Tourism
Authority (GTA) and the Africa Tourism Partners.
Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Minister of Tourism,
Arts and Culture, said the theme for the summit validated the significant role
of women in tourism, and provides the signpost for the empowerment of women.
She said no development was complete without
women being factored in as a major index of the development process, adding
that women can adequately drive goals in tourism at the different levels of
endeavour to ensure sustainable tourism.
She said tourism provided great opportunities
for women’s participation in the workforce, women’s entrepreneurship, women’s
leadership than any other sector of the economy.
“According to the UNWTO, in certain countries,
tourism has almost twice as many women employers whiles in other countries,
more than 70 percent of business owners are women, compared to just about 20
percent in other sectors of the economy.”
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi noted that in leadership women
were more likely to have a voice at the decision making level in tourism
business association, and tourism governance than in any other sector.
She said the tourism arts and culture sector
provided various entry points for women’s employment and opportunities to
operate self-employment in small and medium size income generating activities.
She, however, noted that, despite these
advantages and advancements for women, significant inequality also persisted
and to better address these inequalities, gender needed to be incorporated into
tourism projects designs from inception.
She said income generation opportunities for
women in tourism could be more effectively realised if the challenges
confronting women entrepreneurs and business owners were identified and
The sector Minister said challenges such as
access to credit, management training and access to market remained significant
challenges to women in the tourism small and medium sector, saying women were
endowed with entrepreneurial skills where creativity and remuneration were key.
She urged women operating in the sector to
take the commanding heights of business opportunities in the sector by forming
partnerships both locally and internationally with other successful businesses
in the sector.
She expressed the hope that the summit would
create the platform for stakeholders to deliberate on the critical issues and
agree on a common roadmap to help achieve gender equality and empower all women
The Minister charged them to come out with
solid and definite actionable proposals for the empowerment of women in the
industry, assuring that the Ministry would look at those proposals and receive
the needed and requisite attention for implementation to ensure the success of
women businesses in the tourism sector.
Mr Akwesi Agyemang, Chief Executive Officer,
GTA, said tourism was considered as one of the world’s largest economic
stimulators, and the increased contributions of women in the sector in recent
years had positively impacted the industry.
He said despite their impact, women continued
to be underrepresented in management and leadership, saying the goal of the
summit amongst others was to discuss how they could provide the enabling
environment to empower and encourage more women to reach the upper echelons of
He said the summit would not only focus on
panel discussions, but serve as a platform for gender training and learning,
and provide knowledge to assist tackle inequalities and discrimination against
women in the tourism industry.
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