KAWT calls for women empowerment in tourism sector
Non- profit organization, Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) has urged women in the hospitality industry to aim for leadership positions available.
While marking its 10th anniversary celebrations in Mombasa , the women’s lobby group revealed that despite women making up 60 percent of the tourism sector workforce, they remain under-represented in key leadership positions.
According to the organization the situation was similar across the globe where most female employees in the sector are in junior positions.
During the event which also coincided with the association’s annual general meeting, veteran hospitality expert and investor, Jane Adams, was re-elected national chairman expressing confidence that the number of new entrants in the association would grow.
”We are currently in 16 out of the 47 counties. However, going by inquiries we are receiving, we hope to be in all the counties soon,” she said.
A survey conducted last year by KAWT showed that at the onset of the pandemic it identified partners with whom they could work together to offer a boost to women in tourism.
At the same time, Kenya national convention bureau chief executive office jacinta nzioka stated that the meetings incentives, convention and exhibition remained a highly resilient sector of the larger tourism and hospitality industry.
”Out of the total number of visitors who come into our country, a record 35% come for business, tourism meetings and events including business corporate meetings.”
KAWT expressed satisfaction with the government’s efforts to employ some of its members in various government posts.
On the other hand, Tourism Principal Secretary Safina Kwekwe said the government was keen to ensure it continues to offer support to women in the tourism sector.
“We are in very depressing times, and it is through collective approaches, empowerment and ensuring that women play decisive roles in the sector that we will achieve,” Kwekwe said.
KAWT serves as a professional platform for women empowerment and helps unite and mobilise women in the tourism and hospitality sector to take active roles in promotion of tourism in Kenya and come up with programmes that promote and enhance social harmony.