G Adventures adds women empowerment projects to itineraries

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Moroccan women in rural Meknes with traditional dishes prepared for guests.
Moroccan women in rural Meknes with traditional dishes prepared for guests.

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, Canadian tour operator G Adventures has launched three itineraries that integrate community-development projects aimed at supporting women in Morocco, Australia and Belize.

The effort kicks off a month-long campaign that G Adventures is calling Planet Her, which aims to raise awareness and funds for projects that will benefit women. Managed by the Planeterra Foundation, the nonprofit arm of G Adventures, Planet Her aims to raise nearly $20,000 between March 8 and April 10 and to shine a spotlight on women’s roles in travel and tourism.

On several G Adventures tours, including the eight-day "Morocco Kasbahs and Desert Tour" and the 9-day "National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures," travelers visit the village of M’hoya (near Meknes, Morocco) where a group of women will serve a traditional lunch and offer basic lessons in Arabic.

G Adventures has provided seed funding to support the local partner in M’hoya, AFER (Association Des Femmes et Enfants Ruraux), which has enabled them to renovate the group’s kitchen and dining area. Additional funds, including those from tourism revenue spurred by the tours, will support health and education programs for a network of some 700 women and children in the region.

In Queensland Australia, G Adventures travelers will learn about and support the aboriginal Jirrbal people in Tully, where tourism dollars have helped transform an old railway station into a café and vocational training center for women and youth.

The new Cafe Chloe, run by four Jirrbal women who are with G Adventures’ partner Ingan Tours, serves travelers lunches and offers training workshops in weaving and aboriginal arts. Travelers can enjoy the lunch and cultural exchange on select G Adventures tours, including the 12-day "Sydney to Melbourne" offered through National Geographic Journeys and the "Classic 10-day Brisbane to Cairns."

“Travel and tourism are among the most promising sectors to help achieve ... empowering women through greater economic and educational opportunities,” G Adventures said in a statement.

Members of the Sisterhood of Survivors project in Nepal host a dumpling-making class.
Members of the Sisterhood of Survivors project in Nepal host a dumpling-making class.

In addition to the three new projects, G Adventures has several existing women-focused projects that it has integrated into tours in Nepal, Cambodia, India, Kenya and Peru.

For example, the Sisterhood of Survivors (SASANE) project in Nepal offers employment and paralegal training to women who were victims of human trafficking and forced labor. Women on Wheels pairs female passengers with female drivers in New Delhi.

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