Adama Kamara had no choice but to witness the launch of the biggest tourism empowerment programme for women in Sierra Leone. Her 15 year service in the sector has not yielded the intended dividend.
Like Adama, over 500 other women who attended the launch were desirous to see the much needed transformation of women in the tourism industry.
Launching the programme, Minister of Tourism, Memunatu Pratt noted that the programme was not only about female tourism entrepreneurs but also how climate change affects women in tourism.
The launch is a precursor to Women in Tourism Conference that would be held in Accra in November.
Although they make up about 60% of the tourism workforce, women occupy the lowest cadre of those jobs.
Statements geared towards improving women's skills and education were made by various stakeholders.
The World Bank has funded a report on Sierra Leone Women in Tourism that would soon be launched in the country.
Chaired by Hon Veronica Kadi Sesay, artistes Star Zero, Rozay and others performed songs that uplift women.
According to UNWTO's Global Report on Women in Tourism:
• In most regions of the world, women make up the majority of the tourism workforce
• Women tend to be concentrated in the lowest paid and lowest status jobs in tourism
• Women perform a large amount of unpaid work in family tourism businesses
As a specialised UN agency in the field of tourism, UNWTO is committed to enhancing the positive impact of tourism development on women’s lives, and, in so doing, contributing to the achievement of the Fifth Sustainable Development Goal – "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls".