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Webinar series to discuss COVID-19 impact on women starts this week

Women in Travel, a social enterprise dedicated to empowering women in the travel industry, is set to host three virtual panel webinars beginning May 21, which will highlight the impact of COVID-19, on the lives of women, its consequences and the probable solutions, in three separate virtual panel webinars

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres’s statement, that COVID-19 can have a regressive effect on gender equality has made it essential to take an overview of the COVID-19 impact on women.

The first hour-long panel discussion at 4:30 PM BST, will evaluate the overall impact and possible remedial measures for woman who have been affected badly. The panel will be moderated by WIT founder Alessandra Alonso, and will have Simon Gallow, advocate at UN Women UK and Sonia Omar, fundraising manager at Education For All, as speakers.

The second virtual panel on May 28 at 2:30 PM BST, will focus on the implications of COVID-19 for women working in the travel and tourism industry, which has seen many women being furloughed from full-time work. During the webinar, panellists, Dr Manal Kelig, executive director MENA at Adventure Travel Trade Association, Dr Mariana Aldrigui, researcher at the University of Sao Paulo, Zina Bencheikh, MD EMEA at Intrepid Travel, and Sandra Carvao, chief of market intelligence and competitiveness at World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will discuss how women can continue to engage with the industry during the pandemic, and the best possible to resume work.

Sandra Carvao will provide valuable insights on how to recover from a crisis, following her previous experience of coordinating the Tourism Resilience Committee created by UNWTO to address the impacts of the global economic crisis 2008-2009 on tourism.

The final session on June 4, will focus on practical solutions and tangible learnings for women working in the travel and tourism sector, who have been directly impacted by the pandemic on both a personal and professional level. The panel discussion at 2:30 PM BST will feature speakers like Barbara Kolosinka, director at C&M Recruitment, Jamie-Lee Abtar, executive director of BAME Women in Travel and HR and talent professional, Claire Steiner.

The panel will evaluate the recruitment trends to attract and retain staff during this time. The session will also analyse how individuals can help themselves, by working on their personal branding.

Alessandra Alonso, founder of Women in Travel (CIC) said: “COVID-19 may be causing more male fatalities overall, but women and children are the unaccounted-for casualties. The impact of COVID-19 on women is far reaching and goes beyond what we have witnessed over the past couple of weeks. For example, cases of domestic violence have spiralled globally, and teenage girls in less developed countries where the ‘digital divide’ is present, are losing access to education by not being able to attend school or take part in virtual classes. We have therefore launched these three virtual panel webinars to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on women all over the world and some tangible solutions for them.”

Although the virtual panels are free of charge, participants are invited to contribute to the initiatives of UN Women UK, through voluntary donations. The donations will go towards providing food and hygiene essentials for women and girls, living in poverty all across the world. Women in Travel will also contribute to UN Women UK, by donating up to £250. To donate, visit www.unwomenuk.org/campaigns/covid-19. The donations made for the second and third virtual panel events, with the money going towards Women in Travel’s own initiatives, which provide mentoring and coaching sessions help vulnerable, underrepresented and marginalised women to find economic empowerment and personal fulfilment through work in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/witcic

Those interested in attending the virtual panel webinars on May 21, May 28 and June 4, can register for free here: bit.ly/2YOelWq.

For more information about Women in Travel, visit www.womenintravelcic.com

Image credit:VisionPic .net/Pexels 

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