7 Ways Travelers Can Support Women on International Women’s Day

Travel is an opportunity to connect with, stay with, and support local, women-led initiatives around the world. From an all-woman-run safari camp in Tanzania to female breadwinners in Mongolia, here are seven experiences worth putting on your calendar.


A Rwandan woman teaches a weaving workshop in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo © Alicia Erickson

Mothers, sisters, daughters, friends. Artisans, chefs, entrepreneurs, farmers. Stewards of the land, keepers of traditional knowledge. Women occupy many titles and roles – they are the backbone of their families and the heart of their communities. Yet far too often, women still face discrimination, from less access to education to fewer income opportunities.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is “Inspire Inclusion.” Women’s Day reminds us of the unrelenting uphill battle that women around the world face. It also serves as a reminder of the power that the tourism industry holds and how it can be used as a force for change.

This year, let travel be an opportunity to connect with host communities, invest in local economies, and champion environmental initiatives. An opportunity to interact with women around the world and support their endeavors so they can continue to practice and share their wisdom, preserve their culture, invest in their children, and occupy new spaces.

On your upcoming adventures, ask yourself, “How can I, as a traveler, inspire inclusion for women around the global?”

We’ve rounded up a few ideas to get you started.

Experience Peru with its female changemakers

With the hopes of tackling the gender imbalance in the travel industry, Explorations Company has recently launched “Las Poderosas,” or “The Women of Peru.” The journey connects guests to Peru’s abundant nature and dynamic cities in a profound way: through the eyes of Peruvian women who are shaping the country. Journey to the barrios with Vania Masias, a former ballerina who is connecting the local children to the art of street dance. Explore the Amazon alongside the matriarchs who are leading conservation movements in the rainforest, such as conservationist Tatiana Espinosa, whose women-led non-profit ARBIO is leading new ways to protect the Amazon.

Each trip can be specially crafted to fit each travelers’ interests, allowing them to dive deep into the country’s culture, art, and landscapes, while better understanding and supporting the livelihoods of Peruvian women.

Explore the culture and cuisine of Southern India

Kerala is known for its backwater villages, Ayurvedic traditions, and misty tea plantations. A trip through southern India’s rich cultural heritage and lush landscapes is enhanced through the guidance of local stewards. Join Village Ways for a ten-day, women’s-only adventure to Kerala, experiencing the abundant state through the lens of Keralan women. Take weaving classes, listen to drumming, explore a coffee plantation, cook Keralan curries, and stay in local communities – all with the expertise of female guides. The benefits of the trip go both ways. Beyond connecting visitors to the traditions of Kerala, it allows Keralan women to be the storytellers of their home, while supporting their industries and livelihoods.

Beyond the female-focused Kerala trip, Village Ways runs ethical journeys through rural regions across India. Started in the foothills of the Himalayas with the intention of preserving traditional ways of life, each carefully designed adventure works hand-in-hand with the villages. Co-founder and director Manisha Pande’s hope is to empower rural Indian women as guides to tell the story of their home through their eyes, while lifting communities out of poverty.

Safari the female way in the Serengeti

Opened in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in 2016 by Asilia Africa, Dunia Camp is the first all-female-run safari camp. From guides and chefs to housekeepers and managers, everyone behind this stunning property is a woman. There is an unparalleled impact in placing women in roles that they aren’t traditionally seen in, shifting the dialogue around gender norms in East Africa. In addition to economic and professional empowerment, Dunia provides local Tanzanian women with a sense of personal empowerment as they trade a traditional life for a life in the wilds of the bush.

A woman safari guide with Dunia camp in Tanzania.
Grace Matemba, a safari guide with Dunia. Image credit: Dunia/Asilia

Travelers can search for lions and zebras on sunrise and sunset game drives, track footprints and wildlife on foot during a walking safari and unwind with handcrafted meals in the calming tempo of the Serengeti – all with Tanzanian women as your guides.

Dunia’s vision goes beyond the camp. Partner projects support current and future generations of East African women in multiple capacities. Asilia’s scholarship program enrolls disadvantaged youth in a Tourism and Hospitality Course to jumpstart their careers in tourism, and Maa Trust employs over 600 Maasai women in honey and bead collectives.

Says Grace Matemba, who is in the process of completing her training as a walking safari guide, “Working as a woman helps to support our families and remove the idea that we can’t bring any progress into our societies. Most of our local communities still do not have gender equality. For example, if a woman decides to go to work, she might be excluded for breaking the traditions of these communities.

“For me, being with Asilia has brought a great light to my guiding career based on the training I get whenever I'm at camp. During that time, I had the opportunity to join the walking training where soon I will become one of the first certified female walking guides. I hope I can bring motivation and inspiration to upcoming female guides.”

Walk and weave with the women of Kigali

Rwanda may be known for its mountain gorillas, but its capital, Kigali, is worthy of a visit too. Join a women-led walking tour with Nyamirambo Women’s Center (NWC) through the colorful streets of Nyamirambo. Learn about the neighborhood’s Muslim history, browse local produce markets, stop for a glass of fresh milk at a milk bar, and learn a few Kinyarwanda words along the way. Afterwards, join the women for a cooking or weaving class.

NWC was started in 2007 by 18 Rwandese women to address gender-based violence, gender inequality and discrimination. Profits built a children’s library and provide ongoing literacy, sewing, computer, and weaving classes for women, in addition to workshops like women’s rights and health.

A street in the Nyamirambo neighborhood in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Nyamirambo neighborhood in Kigali. Image credit: Alicia Erickson

If you’re interested in learning more about the weaving heritage of Rwanda, take a class at Talking Through Art. The initiative supports Kigali women living with disabilities, as well as their children, and helps them stay off the streets by employing them as weavers and teaching them life skills. Master basics of Rwandan basket making in the sunny garden and you may be tempted to bring a few of the shop’s gorgeous baskets home with you.

Explore Mongolia and learn about the lives of local women

From the Gobi Desert to the Altai Mountains, the landscapes of Mongolia are an idyllic backdrop for extraordinary adventures. Now, imagine experiencing Mongolia’s steppes and mountains through the lens of Mongolian women. Responsible Travel and Eternal Landscapes have crafted an unparalleled expedition to Mongolia led by women, for women. Along the way, travelers will stay at the homes of many female breadwinners. A Kazakh eagle huntress, an embroiderer, and a herder are among the hosts along the journey.

Beyond welcoming you into their homes, these women will include you in their daily activities, from planting trees to combing yaks, to help you understand their livelihoods, customs, and challenges through an unfiltered lens.

A female trip assistant lights a fire on a tour of Mongolia.
An Eternal Landscapes trip assistant lights a fire. Image credit: Eternal Landscapes

Odonmicheg, one of the Mongolian trip assistants on these journeys reflected on the impact on her life: “My life has grown since I started to work with Eternal Landscapes. I’m an English teacher but I always work with tourists in the summer months and my English skills and that of my students are developing year by year. After some difficult years as a single mother, I am now financially independent and feel confident about myself.”

Responsible Travel also offers other fantastic women-only trips, including a cultural tour of South Africa and a Pakistan trip.

Journey through the landscapes of Pakistan

The vivid scenery, cuisine, and heritage of Pakistan are a big draw for travelers seeking adventure. But, Pakistan isn’t the easiest place to visit as a female solo traveler. Mad Hatters, a women-run travel company, is working to make travel in Pakistan more inclusive and accessible for female travelers, while providing Pakistani women a platform to pursue work in tourism. Each carefully crafted trip focuses on immersive experiences that create economic opportunities in remote regions of Pakistan.

Learn culinary traditions as you cook with Pakistani women, adventure through the stunning mountains of the Hunza and Kalasha Valleys, visit the ruins of ancient empires, stay at the homes of locals, and meet local artisans and women-run businesses. With a wide range of trips to choose from, Mad Hatters (along with their partners) also runs a few women-only trips, which shine a light on women working on female-empowerment projects along the adventures through Pakistan.

Women travelers on a trip to Pakistan.
Women travelers on a Mad Hatters trip to Pakistan. Image credit: Mad Hatters

Connect with acid attack survivors in India

Wander beyond the famous silhouette of the Taj Mahal and pay Sheroes Hangout a visit. The Agra café is run by acid attack survivors, providing women who would typically face discrimination an opportunity to gain economic independence.

Sheroes, which also has locations in Lucknow and Noida, serves as a space for acid attack survivors to heal and feel confident showing their faces, shedding the stigma that so often causes acid attack survivors to hide. Take the time to listen to their stories during your visit. Learn about their personal journeys, as well as issues like acid attacks that continue to disproportionately impact women in India today.

Related articles

Travel Insurance

Simple and flexible travel insurance

You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.

Get a quote

No Comments

Add a Comment