International Women’s Day 2023: Women Leading the Way

by | Mar 1, 2023

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Last updated on March 8th, 2023

You can make a difference

by Carolyn Ray, Editor, JourneyWoman

International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023 is on March 8, 2023, and as we’ve done in previous years, we’re hosting a photography exhibition showcasing women in travel from around the world. However, this is about more than striking photographs — it’s a call for action and an acknowledgment that we, as women, have an important role to play in the future of travel.

In travel, women are the most influential audience, making 85% of all travel decisions. Women over 50 represent trillions in purchasing power and are the fastest-growing demographic.  Every dollar you spend matters.  

This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023 theme is #EmbraceEquity. Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA. And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality. Part of creating gender equity is by financially supporting women-owned businesses. These businesses, in turn, support other women, many of whom support families and communities. The UNWTO reports that women represent 54% of all employment in Tourism and have been the hardest hit by the pandemic.

This year, we invited tour operators from our Women’s Travel Directory to share their best photographs and stories about women from their travels. While many women may not have traveled this year, these women have seen firsthand the impact of the pandemic on local communities.

Take the time to read each International Women’s Day 2023 submission. You’ll learn what these women-led companies are doing to support women and what we, as women travelers can do to support other women when we travel. Hopefully these stories will inspire you to think differently about how you travel and where you to choose to spend your travel dollars. Our world needs us to lead the way.

What JourneyWoman is doing to support women through travel

At JourneyWoman, we have been publishing articles to educate and empower women for almost 30 years. This year, we are expanding our editorial team to include more diverse voices from around the world. All of our writers are women over 50 who carry decades of wisdom about solo travel, accessibility, less-travelled places and safety. Some have been announced and others will be announced soon.

In August 2020, we announced the JourneyWoman Women’s Travel Advisory Council. Our intention was to elevate the depth and quality of our travel advice, be representative of our readers, and respond to their pressing questions about travel, safety and well-being.  We also hire women and support non-profit organizations that empower women and girls, such as Education for All, The Period Purse, NO, and others. You can read more here. We are also members of organizations like The Code,  (short for “The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism”), a multi-stakeholder initiative with the mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry to prevent human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.  Read more here

We support women entrepreneurs with the creation of the world’s first and largest Women’s Travel Directory. Almost 15 years in the making, our Directory showcases women’s tours, retreats and guides. As a woman of influence, you can make a difference in another woman’s life by choosing to hire a women-owned tour company, hiring a female guide or staying at a women-owned accommodation when you travel.  We all rise together.

More on International Women’s Day

As the CEO and Editor of JourneyWoman, Carolyn is a passionate advocate for women's travel and living the life of your dreams. She leads JourneyWoman's team of writers and chairs the JourneyWoman Women's Advisory Council and Women's Speaker's Bureau. She has been featured in the New York Times, Toronto Star and Zoomer as a solo travel expert, and speaks at women's travel conferences around the world. In March 2023, she was named one of the most influential women in travel by TravelPulse and was the recipient of a SATW travel writing award in September 2023. She is the chair of the Canadian chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), a member Women's Travel Leaders and a Herald for the Transformational Travel Council (TTC). Sometimes she sleeps. A bit.


We always strive to use real photos from our own adventures, provided by the guest writer or from our personal travels. However, in some cases, due to photo quality, we must use stock photography. If you have any questions about the photography please let us know.

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