On March 8, communities around the globe will celebrate International Women's Day by recognizing the value, power, and achievements of women across the world, while acknowledging the work that still needs to be done as we strive towards a fair and equitable society. This week on the G Adventures blog, we'll be looking at stories of women in travel, from game-changers to those who have been empowered by travel as a force for good. Here, three new projects from the Planeterra Foundation that are empowering women through travel.
1. Sthree Craft Shop and Café, Kandy, Sri Lanka
The Women's Development Centre in Kandy has, for more than 30 years, worked to empower and elevate Sri Lankan women — but has long struggled to make one of its key programs, Sthree, a handicraft shop, a lucrative source of income. With the help of the Planeterra Foundation, Sthree will be revamped and a café will be established nearby, enabling women involved in the program to serve travellers, and sell handicrafts to them. The income generated will not only empower these women, but will enable the Women's Development Centre to become less grant-dependent overall.
2. Penduka, Windhoek, Namibia
Despite efforts towards equality and inclusion made during the writing of the country's constitution, many of Namibia's women remain at-risk, and find difficulty in achieving equal social and economic status as their male counterparts. Penduka, an organization just outside of Windhoek, directly employs at-risk, uneducated, chronically ill, and disabled women, while contracting others to produce and sell handicrafts. The Planeterra foundation has partnered with Penduka, and is assisting in the implementation of a restaurant — with takeout options — to serve travellers.
3. Lusumpuko Women’s Club, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Today, roughly 95% of the population of Zimbabwe is unemployed or underemployed. Meanwhile, there is something of a grassroots movement among the country's women, who are learning trades — such as animal husbandry, tailoring, and catering — traditionally performed by men. Planeterra has partnered with the Lusumpuko Women’s Club, who will provide cooking demonstrations and meals for G Adventurers travellers — of which there are around 1,800 every year — visiting Victoria Falls.