Travel To Make A Difference
At ArchaeoAdventures we believe that traveling responsibly in the Middle East and North Africa involves understanding the impact we can have as visitors to the region. Through how we spend our money and our time, we as travelers have tremendous potential to affect the places we visit and the people who call them home. We – from the tour company to the traveler – recognize and honor that we can make a difference through the travel choices we make, the companies and people we work with, and where we spend our money. We can understand cultures, steward the environment, and protect ancient sites through our travel choices.
Working and traveling throughout the Middle East and North Africa over the past decade, our founder, Genevieve Hathaway, noticed that the skills and knowledge of women in the region were underutilized. Most of the countries in the MENA region do not have equal opportunity laws to protect female employment. As economies struggled, women were the ones marginalized in the workforce. As the Arab Spring swept through the region and tourism slowed, women were hit the hardest by the increased unemployment. Genevieve saw a need and understood how women travelers could help – providing jobs for the talented female guides in the region.
As the World Bank Reports, “The data suggest that even highly educated young women are increasingly vulnerable. To give an illustration, between 1998 and 2006, the percentage of young Egyptian women possessing a university degree rose from 6 to 12%. Strikingly, the female labor force participation rate in this age group remained near-stagnant, while their rate of unemployment increased from 19 to 27 percent….Women’s participation in the economy is believed to provide a tremendous impetus to their enhanced participation in public affairs. That is perhaps why the low levels of female labor force participation and employment in the MENA region raise some concern. A mixture of arguments – economic, institutional and cultural in nature – have been put forth to unpack the reasons behind this phenomenon.”
Responsible tourism is a manifesto. It’s taking ownership for the role we play and the power we have through how we travel and how we spend to directly impact local women’s lives. You as a traveler on an ArchaeoAdventures trip are also part of this responsible tourism practice. By joining us on one of our tours, you are actively using your trip to employ local women with fair-wage jobs. You can be proud to be part of this step in the right direction for worldwide gender equality – one woman at a time.