Words cannot express how excited I am about women empowerment right now in today’s world. As a woman born in the Western world, who has had the opportunity to study at University, start my own business and actually choose whether I have children or not, I am aware of just how much opportunity I have overflowing within my hands.
Throughout history, women have had to sacrifice themselves for the next generation. And that includes my Mother and Grandmother standing behind me. They did not have the opportunities or encouragement from society to take the steps that I’ve been presented with and seized. They’ve sacrificed their own time, energy and opportunities to enable me to be able to share my inner intelligence, vision, creativity and talents with all of you. That’s so powerful and I’m so thankful.
Yet worldwide, gender equality (however you wish to define it) has a very long way to go.
The importance of women empowerment is real. Whilst we’re fighting the gender pay gap and sexual liberation in the West, other women around the world are still fighting to not be forced into marriage, to be allowed to go to school, to even be allowed out of the house by themselves for example, and to receive the most important thing of all: empowerment.
Travel will empower you and teach you who you are, what you need and what you want.
Yet sharing your empowerment, skills and knowledge with others around the world will skyrocket your travel experiences to the next level, whilst changing their lives forever; for the better!
Yet travel is a gift, and a very powerful one at that, and, we need to make sure we are doing it in the right way to help empower and support the people who live in the amazing places we visit.
Meet G Adventures. These guys offer incredible tours in over 100 countries around the world. The best part? They focus on purpose-driven travel – travel that changes the lives of the traveller but also the local communities around the world.
G Adventures supports over 70 ‘G For Good’ projects around the world, in partnership with their non-profit organisation, Planeterra, which are focused on empowering women, creating new pathways for youths and conserving local cultures. Pretty cool!
20 of these amazing projects are dedicated solely to helping women, empowering them, offering them access to education and sustainable employment to help these amazing ladies be the kickass individuals they should be.
Often, women do not have the resources or the access to education or employment to gain economic independence and empowerment. These are not only important financially but also for women’s feelings of self worth.
When travel is done in the right way, companies like G Adventures are able to provide communities and women with the right tools and support to manage their own businesses, generating opportunity for themselves but also for their families. Now that’s real change!
If you want to be a part of the change that is happening on this planet right now (how exciting!) carry on reading…
How can we change the world and empower the women within it?
Equal access to education and job-training is absolutely essential and the key to taking a society to the next level. Planeterra helps women redefine their roles in society by opening up opportunities and job positions through the G For Good projects. Now that’s a puzzle I’m sure we’d all like to be a part of!
G Adventures and Planeterra support many women empowerment projects around the world right now, but here’s 10 to get your girl power revved up!
I love this project! In association with Azad Foundation, Planeterra are empowering disadvantaged women from poor areas across India to become professional commercial drivers!
Women are trained in technical, self-empowerment and self-development areas to become your next driver in India. I would love to be one of their passengers.
G Adventures contracts Women on Wheels to be their India airport pick-up partner: so far they’ve picked up 3000 G Adventures travellers from their flight.
Watch out world. These chicks know how to get you from A to B. Better book your next trip with Women on Wheels.
The town of Maai Mahiu, with an 80% unemployment rate, is located along what is unfortunately known as the ‘AIDS Highway’ – a major road which truck drivers travel along spreading the disease as they go. As a result, this town faces increasing numbers of orphans and associated challenges for women and their families.
The Ubuntu Team is determined to turn this around and is most certainly on the road to empowering this community to take back ownership of their lives.
G Adventures stops off at Ubuntu Cafe on their tours in Kenya, bringing an eager customer base to the women working here. The cafe also makes beautiful and unique souvenirs to increase their product range; and they sell!
The cafe also serves Ubuntu School which provides therapy, education and vocational training to the children in the community with special needs.
This is a community which is supporting itself by putting all of its skills together – which then creates various resources for an income which grow and develop together. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
As a world we are thankfully becoming more aware of how important it is to reuse and recycle what we are consuming! Plastic anyone (argh)?! These amazing women from Cöp(m)adam (which translates to Garbage Ladies!) in Turkey, are using their ingenuity, creativity and arty skills to create some real one-of-a-kind accessories.
Yep that’s right; they’re putting the ‘ooh’ back into the ‘eww’ of waste. You go ladies.
Planeterra have helped Cöp(m)adam connect to their customer market to widen their customer base and sell their creations. G Adventures pays a visit to them on their tours, where travellers get to meet the ladies first hand and take a gander at their creations for themselves.
As Cöp(m)adam has grown, there are now 40 women working in Ayvalik who have the means and income to now provide for their families and the community at large.
The Inca Trail is one of the most popular treks in South America that brings a huge amount of people to it every day! Inevitably, this brings about more waste which is negatively impacting this beautiful natural environment. One such type of waste is in the chemicals we are using here: non-biodegradable soaps and products are leaving behind chemicals which are doing nothing but bad for the land and water.
Move on in the ladies of Esencia Andina.
Planterra have provided a grant for the local Cuzco ladies to launch their very own business which produces biodegradable soaps and natural products. And it’s not just the travellers which are buying them: the guides, porters and cooks who set off on the Inca Trail are purchasing them too! They also have more than 15 hotel and travel companies who are clients of theirs.
If you’re on a G Adventures Inca Trail, Lares Trek or Amazon trip with G Adventures, you’ll be using these products too.
Did you know that only 5% of girls finish secondary school in Tanzania? Yikes. With men seen as the people to take control of the household here, women are missing out on vital educational opportunities.
The good news is that a women-only business school called Give a Heart to Africa is changing this severe disadvantage around by offering Business Management, Accounting and English classes to the local women in a year-long course.
Currently 30 women access the school each year. The women who are the top graduates of the school then get funding to start their own businesses! Now that’s an incentive to reach for the stars.
Businesses which have come out of this project so far include a spa and a handicraft maker’s studio to name a few. G Adventures are providing a market link for the women to sell their products, as well as transport and a platform to get the word out about what they are doing.
In San Antonio village, resources are scarce with the average family having seven children each. Unfortunately, locals find themselves stuck in a cycle of poverty as education is not a priority and government support is difficult to access.
The San Antonio Pottery Co-Op, comprised of nine Mayan women, is starting to turn things around with Planeterra providing a grant to build an indoor workshop space. This space allows many more travellers to be hosted here, for the locals’ products to be sold and for the young and unemployed to receive educational training so that they can become entrepreneurs too.
When I think of Nepal I think of all the amazing hikes that are possible here, but unfortunately, a vast amount of human trafficking comes to mind too. As many as 7000 Nepalese women and girls are forced into sex trafficking by being taken out of Nepal into India every year.
And it’s a vicious cycle of abuse. These women are usually arrested and fined by the authorities, to only then be bailed out by their traffickers and be brought back into further abuse.
SASANE, formed in 2008, is breaking this corruption.
SASANE train survivors as paralegals, educate young women about how to break free from this and in collaboration with G Adventures, have created a hosting space for travellers to learn about their traditional cooking.
The travellers have a cooking class and eat something delicious, whilst the survivors have the opportunity for meaningful and fulfilling work.
Tourism can be used to combat human trafficking.
As many men in rural China go to the cities to find work, the ladies and their children are left without opportunities to work, train and receive immersive education. To help create a stronger community and a more meaningful purpose for the individuals within it, The Rural Women’s Development Foundation is helping women discover their passions and goals!
Planeterra has helped this organisation to construct their own community space and restaurant in Liandaowan village near picturesque Yanghsuo, where the women have become chefs, waiters and guides for the G Adventures travellers coming to see them during their China trips.
These women are gaining financial independence, a safe space for themselves and their families and the opportunity to invest in their futures.
Women’s’ rights in Morocco have definitely progressed over the years but there are still issues that need to be addressed. There’s a lack of access to healthcare, discrimination in communities, domestic violence and high school dropout rates. How can further changes be made?
The first hospitality programme run by local women AFER (Association Des Femmes et Enfants Ruraux) is developing the skills of local rural women in Morocco. Planeterra have provided the funds for a kitchen, dining area, kitchen equipment and resources so that these lovely ladies have the means to serve delicious homemade lunches for G Adventures travellers coming through.
This project is not only helping the women to run this kitchen but learn French and Arabic and how to sew too. The support also enables them to protect their children who are at risk of being exploited on Morocco’s streets.
Since 2007, the Nyamirambo Women’s Center (NWC) has had its doors open to provide education and training to the local women who are facing discrimination and gender-based violence. Here, ladies have the opportunities to learn English, Maths and computer skills whilst also gaining knowledge and experience in tourism, handicraft and sewing skills and empowerment training in violence.
Currently, the ‘Umutima’ product line has been created to design and create stunning household goods and children’s wear, where 50 women work together to produce these products together. Authentic walking tours and lunches are also run by the women here; the perfect opportunity for G adventurers to spend time with these amazing women and learn more about the, and their wider community.
Do you know about a community which is in need? Have you been involved in a project which has changed women’s lives? Maybe you’ve volunteered somewhere and seen first-hand how women can be changed from the help of others? Or are you interested in one of the projects with Planeterra above?
Tell me what you want to get up to or have been involved in!
Full Disclosure: This post is sponsored by G Adventures. The writing and opinions in the article are completely my own = honest and straight to the point. High fives for creative freedom!