26 February 2019
FIRST Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday launched the Women in Tourism National Chapter where she urged women to be visible and active in the tourism industry.
The event, which was held in the capital, was graced by the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality industry Prisca Mupfumira, Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Sithembiso Nyoni and Senate President Mabel Chinomona.
Ten provincial leaders were selected last year and they automatically represent their chapters at national level.
Speaking during the launch, Amai Mnangagwa said this was the beginning of a new chapter which needs seriousness, commitment and engagement in an initiative and innovative mood.
“The formation of the Women in Tourism National Chapter was long-overdue.
“Women in Zimbabwe are known to be hard working and given the opportunity, they can do wonders and make a difference.
“What was required is to get organised and have a standing structure to proffer an effective channel of communication in order to promote and inspire entrepreneurship in the tourism sector.
“This structure is aimed at integrating women from different backgrounds and spectrum within the sector to further a common goal of socio and economic development. It also gives the platform for effective networking and knowledge sharing,” she said.
Amai Mnangagwa said the establishment of Women in Tourism gives women an opportunity to be masters of their own destiny and be able to run their businesses sustainably, create employment and sustain livelihoods.
“Globally, tourism is a sector having the highest share of women employment with 49 percent of the workforce in hotels and restaurants, however most of them assuming lower ranks, according to UNWTO.
“Women in Tourism National Chapter, you have a mammoth task before you which require dedication and willingness to work with other women at all levels.
“The trust of the people is invested upon you as their representatives, therefore, be prepared to deliver and stand for others in every situation for the benefit of women in tourism.
“Women participation in mainstream economy is key to the development of the nation.
“May I hasten to say, the Government of Zimbabwe recognises the importance of Women to a greater expect.
“Policies were put in place to empower women in Zimbabwe, stand-alone Ministry responsible for women affairs and financial facilities to support women projects.
“As women, let us make use of the opportunities availed to us by Government and prove that we are able and capable indeed of turning around the economy,” she said.
“Now that we have a defined Women in Tourism structure there is need to create synergies with your counterparts at provincial level and share ideas and experiences.
“This will facilitate tourism development at provincial and ward level. We expect effective communication from the top to grassroots level and vice versa.
“Remember you were entrusted by other women as their representatives, consultations before coming up with a position is critical.
“Avoid being self-centered and selective, we want information to cascade effectively to those who matters.
“The benefits of tourism should be shared fairly across all communities for effective improvement of livelihoods.
“We expect orderliness and speak with one voice so that you can be heard.”