Last updated on February 19th, 2022
Photograph: From Evelyn’s collection of women
Celebrating the Wisdom of Women on International Women’s Day
By Carolyn Ray, Publisher, JourneyWoman
“Let me remind all women that we live longer and better lives when we have sisters we love, not necessarily born in our bloodline or of our race. Sisters.” – Maya Angelou
Inspiration from Evelyn
After Evelyn Hannon, the founder of JourneyWoman, passed away in April 2019, her daughter Erica invited me to her mom’s apartment. She invited me to choose anything I wanted from Evelyn’s collection of books, scarves, globes, photographs and clothing. Deeply moved and humbled, I spent several days sitting on the floor of Evelyn’s office, reading her notebooks, travel journals, and books.
In the end, I chose a few books and black and white photographs – all with women at the forefront. These photos and books bring me inspiration every single day and also influenced this year’s celebration for International Women’s Day. (You can see more details on these books at the bottom of this page).
Women Will Lead the Way Forward
This year, I want to celebrate the wisdom of women. But not just any women – women of a certain era. Women with decades of solo travel experience, who have broken barriers, challenged the status quo and followed their hearts. Women who look you in the face and tell you it like it is, without artifice (but always with humour), that you need not follow the crowd. You can do it. You can be the woman you want to be. Women who have more energy, vitality, and vibrancy than any I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting (virtually!) before. Yes, I’m talking about you, JourneyWomen!
Gen X and Baby Boomer women are among the world’s most experienced travellers, making us powerful influencers in the world of travel, more so than any other generation. Through our own brave actions and independent spirit, we influence our friends and families and our children and grandchildren. We inspire other women to join our ranks as solo travellers.
Solo Travel Wisdom from the JourneyWoman Community
In honour of International Women’s Day, I am privileged and proud to share this series of quotes, curated from articles, interviews and discussions from the pages of JourneyWoman Magazine over the past year and a half. Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines wisdom as “knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it.” In these small bits of wisdom, we have the essence of JourneyWoman: curious, profoundly adventurous, grateful, generous and above all, courageous. I hope you enjoy them.
(Note: Click the arrow on the right hand side of the red box to advance the images).
How We Can Take Action to Support Other Women
Illustration credit: UNDP/Paru Ramesh]
Statement on International Women’s Day – 8 March 2021. Theme: ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.’
This year’s International Women’s Day is like no other. As countries and communities start to slowly recover from a devastating pandemic, we have the chance to finally end the exclusion and marginalization of women and girls. But to do that, we need immediate action. Women must have the opportunity to play a full role in shaping the pivotal decisions being made right now as countries respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic – choices that will affect the wellbeing of people and the planet for generations to come.
To do this, we must break down the deep-seated historic, cultural, and socio-economic barriers that prevent women from taking their seat at the decision-making table to make sure that resources and power are more equitably distributed.
Read more on the United Nations Development Program website.
Why Women Will Save Travel (July 2019)
Women make 80 to 85 percent of travel decisions and comprise two-thirds of all travellers. Our impact is significant – and it goes well beyond our role as travel consumers.
According to the most recent Global Report on Women in Tourism, published by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in November 2019, 54 per cent of people employed globally in tourism are women. Tourism also affects the lives of women living in tourism destinations, empowering women as we work toward gender equality. Tourism contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal Number 5: “To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”
Pre-pandemic, tourism was one of the fastest-growing and most important economic sectors in the world, benefitting destinations and communities worldwide, representing an estimated 10 per cent of the world’s GDP and 1 in 10 jobs globally.
Up until now, we have been the beneficiaries of a healthy travel environment. But as we watch the massive shifts happening in the tourism industry, the question I ask myself is: “How do we actively participate in rebuilding and reshaping the industry, knowing that our participation and contribution is and will continue to be significant?”
1. Support businesses that prioritize people ahead of profits: Our survey showed that many women will not travel until they believe that their safety and health matter more than corporate profits.
2. Support women and women-owned businesses in the tourism industry: Our ethos at JourneyWoman is to empower women through travel. As we consider the future of travel, I believe we have an opportunity to recast many practices that were damaging to the environment, animals and communities.
3. Demand not just transparency, but evidence: We know how important transparency is to trust. Embrace a questioning mind by asking ‘how do you know?’
4. Fight complacency – don’t let down your guard: We need to adopt new behaviours that protect us and others. But this kind of change can be exhausting. As role models and as women, we can demonstrate positivity, optimism and actionable results through our own behaviour.
5. Show gratitude for those doing it right: As Mary Poppins said, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. We invite all women to use JourneyWoman as a forward-moving force for good.
Read more here.
Evelyn’s Reading List
These are some of the books that I brought home with me and hold a special place in my heart:
- “No Place for a Lady: Tales of Adventurous Women Travellers”, by Barbara Hodgson (2002)
- “Women of Discovery: A Celebration of Intrepid Women Who Explored the World”, by Milbry Polk and Mary Tiegreen (Foreword by Christiane Armanpour) (2001)
- “Women” by Annie Leibovitz and Susan Sontag (2000)
- “Wise Women: A Celebration of Their Insights, Courage and Beauty” by Joyce Tenneson
- “Advanced Style”, by Ari Seth Cohen
Some of my favorite books about women:
Our Archived Articles About International Women’s Day
In our 2022 International Women’s Day photo exhibition, we recognize the women who have made our travel experiences meaningful.
Featuring five women-owned tourism businesses that have been supporting women, communities and wildlife during the pandemic.
From hiring women to donating menstrual supplies, here are 12 things we can do to support and empower women through travel.