Your donation could help a Pakistani woman succeed in the tourism industry.
Donations from within Pakistan can be sent to the following account:
Account Title: Root Network (Private) Limited
Account No.: 01-7000920-01
IBAN: PK64 SCBL 0000 0017 0009 2001
Bank: Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited
Branch: Lahore – Pakistan (0029)
Please include a reference to Women in Tourism.
Worldwide, tourism is a women’s world… but in Pakistan, only 3 out of every 100 tourism professionals are women.
With your help, we can change that.
Many Pakistani women are interested in working in tourism, but face all kinds of obstacles: cultural opposition to women working, living in remote areas, poor internet access, and more.
To support these women in overcoming barriers, we’re launching the Women in Tourism Fellowship.
For the next couple of years, our all-women team will work with young women across Pakistan—particularly remote areas where opportunities are scarce—to provide them with the training, resources, and support they need to sustain themselves as tour guides (or entrepreneurs… their choice!).
Your donation will help fund weeks of classroom and practical tour guide training for dozens of Pakistani women. By the end of the training, they’ll get their guide license, paid work opportunities, and access to a professional support network of mentors to support them as they grow in their new careers. To make sure women of all backgrounds have a chance to participate, we’re paying for participants’ transportation, accommodation, and basic living expenses during the training sessions, too.
A little generosity on your part will go a long way toward helping Pakistani women gain confidence, build support networks, and, most importantly, find decent work. There are countless adventurous women ready to step up to the challenge—with your support, they can lead the way for others. Literally.
Supporting women in tourism = supporting female travelers, local communities, and the environment.
Why does Pakistan need more women in tourism? Well, we’re women, so we think the gender disparity makes it pretty clear: the UN estimates only 3.29% of Pakistan’s hospitality workforce is female, compared to a 54% global average. Inequality doesn’t stop there: the UN also found Pakistani women in tourism earn 41.3% of their male colleagues, compared to 85.3% internationally.
Serious as it is, the gap could also be an opportunity for Pakistani women to grow. Compared to other sectors, the UNTWO found that tourism offers better opportunities for women’s workforce participation, entrepreneurship, and leadership. The demand for more women is already present: interest in women-led tourism experiences is rising worldwide as more and more women travel. Responsible Travel saw a 58% increase in women-run trips in 2019, and responsible tourism company Intrepid says their women-led tours are among their best-selling products—they sold out in the first year they were offered.
Local women and tourists won’t be the only ones to benefit; more women in the tourism workforce will benefit local communities and their environments, too. Multiple studies found that when more women are involved in industries, tourism or otherwise, more sustainable decisions that benefit the environment and local community are made. Female entrepreneurs are more likely to direct their focus to social and environmental problems.
By donating to support women entering the tourism workforce, you’re also supporting the safety of female travelers, the well-being of local communities, and protection of the environment. What’s not to like?
What will your donation be used for?
Your donations will be used to conduct the tour guide trainings in multiple locations in Pakistan, starting in Gilgit-Baltistan then moving south. We’ll primarily be spending funds raised on…
- Stipends for participants
- Fees for specialized local guides, guest speakers, and on-ground support
- International First Aid certification and government guide licencing for participants
- Costs of conducting multi-week trainings (location rental, materials, etc.)
- Accomodation and transportation fees
- Marketing and promotional content
- Ongoing networking and mentorship support
Want to know more? See the project page for more details.
What do you get if you donate?
- Under $100: Our eternal thanks and gratitude!
- $100+: Your name as a supporter in our final Women in Tourism video
- $500+: We’ll send you a thank you postcard made by a local artist
- $1,000+: A free guided day trip for two to one of our favorite places in Pakistan
- $2,500+: Your name or business listed as an official Women in Tourism sponsor
About Root Network's Women in Tourism Fellowship
We’re aiming for long-term impacts for our participants. The fellowship program is composed of multi-week programs and post-training support, including:
- In-Person Training: Immersive workshops for female graduates and young professionals to build knowledge and understanding of industry as a whole.
- Practical Implementation: Practical work experience through field trips and trial tours (paid internships) to reinforce learning and build confidence.
- Community Forums: Co-development of participant-led community forums post-training to foster support and buy-in from family and community members.
- Mentorship: Create a network of support for women in the industry by pairing participants with more experienced professionals in the industry for ongoing mentorship and guidance.
- Industry Networking: Ongoing connection of participants with potential employers and opportunities for entrepreneurship to increase access to market. Co-develop long term solutions to increase economic and professional opportunities for participants.
Who are we and what is Root Network?
Root Network is a women-led social enterprise. In more simple terms, we’re a bunch of female travelers who came together in 2020 because we all believe in the importance of responsible travel.
The four of us know firsthand what it’s like to travel and work as women in Pakistan, both in the tourism industry and otherwise. We’ve traveled solo and with groups, worked as tour guides and tour operators, held positions in development in Pakistan and sat at C-level internationally.
We know our stuff, and we care and want to use our skills and experience to help other women succeed.
Our aim is to create an equitable, inclusive tourism industry in Pakistan by increasing access to meaningful economic opportunities for indigenous communities, promoting local culture and heritage, and advocating for sustainable development and responsible travel practices.
We already executed one successful project last year—COVID safety training for tourism professionals in Gilgit-Baltistan—and we’re looking forward to spending the next few years supporting women in the tourism workforce.