Workshop on gender sensitisation

Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) Women’s Collective organied a Gender Sensitisation workshop with the purpose of making travel an equal experience for women and to help the travel industry understand the importance of gender roles and expectations.

Janice Alyosius

Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) Women’s Collective organized a Gender Sensitization workshop for the adventure travel industry. The workshop was conducted to help the travel industry understand the importance of gender roles and expectations.

The workshop was conducted by ‘Devee’, an organization that seeks to empower women by building equitable workplaces that will help them achieve their full potential, at the same time, help men understand that gender sensitization is an important first step, for a workplace to thrive.

Arshdeep Anand, Chairperson, ATOAI Women’s Collective, introduced the workshop. She brought to focus that more than 50% of the workforce in the adventure travel industry are women. Almost 14% of entrepreneurs in our country are women and they comprise of 52% of travellers. She said, “Men and women are rubbing shoulders in most fields. While we have come a long way, from seeing women in purely traditional roles as homemakers, there is immense scope for better gender parity and sensitivity. As we all know gender equality is the new reality”.

The workshop was then led by PriyadarshiniNarendra, an IIM and INSEAD Alumni, and DoorvaBahuguna, an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad. They spoke about the increasing number of women travelling independently and how the travel industry can serve them better. They both showcased the issues and challenges of gender inequality, especially in adventure travel and by large in travel and tourism industry, and significance of gender sensitization.

“Mostly, men have been decision makers even in travel as entrepreneurs but now that is changing. Trips, systems, facilities, etc were all designed by keeping men in mind but the fact is that women have different needs which we need to keep in mind, particularly given the huge consumer base they are today.” said Priyadarshini.

She also added, “Every individual is different and should not be differentiated based on gender. We should not use gender to define who can do what.  We should start looking at people as individuals, rather than male or female. Everyone is capable of doing something or other.”

Women safety is the biggest need and the biggest challenge. Doorva said, “Safety is not just about physical violence but feeling safe to be themselves. Express themselves completely, with no judgment about their bodies, their clothes, their capabilities”.

 

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