Tourism ministry inaugurates c’ttee to plan congress on women empowerment

BY: Daily Graphic
Mrs Catherine Afeku (arrowed) with members of the planning committee after its inauguration
Mrs Catherine Afeku (arrowed) with members of the planning committee after its inauguration

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) has inaugurated a 25-member committee to plan the first United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s first Regional Congress on Women Empowerment Programme in Tourism (WITEP) to be held in Accra in November this year.

Members of the committee have been selected from private sector organisations, including hotels and airlines, state institutions whose activities impinge on tourism as well as the diplomatic corps

Under the joint leadership of Ambassador Nancy Sam, President of Women in Tourism, Ghana and Madam Christine Dadson, Cordinator of Heritage Homes Restoration Project of MoTAC, the committee has Madam Ama Serwah Nerquaye-Tetteh, representative of the UNESCO Secretary General, Madam Eunice Ayisah Godsent, of the Customs Division, Madam Dorcas Addo, of the Ghana Immigration Service, Madam Glory Akuffo Yirenkyi, Country Manager of South African Airlines, and Madam Pokua Amoah, Managing Director of Golden Beach Hotels, Ms Gillian Heathcote, General Manager, Communications, Stratcom Africa, Mrs Lys Hayfron Asare, Chief Operating Officer of Krif Media.

The Diplomatic Community is represented by Madam Claudia Turbay Qintero, Colombian Ambassador and Madam Maria De-Los Angeles, the Mexican Ambassador.

In her inaugural address, Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said WITEP congress, the first in Africa, would set a precedent for establishing tourism as a tool for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment, using gender analysis and gender training to tackle inequality and gender-based discrimination in the tourism industry.

“The overall goal of the project is to promote women’s economic empowerment in tourism.

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This will involve improving employment/entrepreneurship opportunities for women by facilitating their access to jobs and/or participation in supply-chains, and by creating possibilities for career advancement,” she said.

The minister, who has recently been elected Chairperson of the UNWTO Leadership Taskforce at the world body’s meeting In Madrid, Spain, repeated President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo’s commitment to enhancing the positive impact of tourism development on women’s lives with an eye to achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

“It’s a pandora box opened for promoting equality in this sector and also for improving gender-based reporting in tourism.”

Most importantly, she added, this committee is charged to use the congress to showcase tourism in Ghana. Let me stress: the culture of Ghana must be on display, and this must start right from the airport”.

The Colombian and Mexican Ambassadors pledged their countries’ support for the congress, offering to place at the service of the organising committee, what their respective countries were best noted for in tourism.

The South African Airlines Country Manager promised to rope in other members of the Board of Airlines in Ghana for the purpose of facilitating ticketing arrangements.