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Women challenged to take up leadership positions

Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) has called for more women involvement in the tourism sector.

The Association’s Chairperson Jane Adams said more than 60 per cent of the workforce in the tourism industry in Kenya comprises women but they remain under-represented in key leadership positions.

Adams disclosed that the situation was similar across the globe where most female employees in the sector are in junior positions.

She was speaking during the 10th anniversary celebrations of KAWT at Voyager Beach Resort and Spa in Mombasa.

Adams, who is a hospitality expert was re-elected to the post of national chairperson during the event, which also served as the association’s annual general meeting.

Ms Maureen Obunga, General Manager of Malindi’s Ocean Beach Resort was elected the National Vice Chairman while Nyandia Nyamu was confirmed as the KAWT Chief Executive Officer and Secretary.

Mombasa KWAT Chapter Chairperson, Janet Chamia, retained her seat as the KAWT Mombasa County Chair.

Briefing the media, Adams said they conducted a survey last year and identified partners with whom they could work together to facilitate a boost for women’s visibility in the tourism industry.

“I am delighted to see a full house attendance during the meeting at a time of great challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. We have all suffered immensely due to this pandemic,” she observed.

Adams expressed satisfaction at the surge in number of new entrants in terms of membership into the association despite pandemic times.

”We are currently in 16 out of the 47 counties. However, going by inquiries we are receiving, we hope to be in all the counties soon,” she said.

Adams while applauding the role of women in the tourism industry added that they are happy with efforts by the government to recognize women in its membership ranks who have been tapped owing to the expertise to serve in various positions in the government.

KAWT serves as a professional platform for women empowerment and helps unite and mobilise women in the tourism and hospitality sector to take active roles in promotion of tourism in Kenya and come up with programmes that promote and enhance social harmony.

By Mohamed Hassan

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