We can never stop highlighting women’s resilience in this past year of the pandemic.
Recent data from UN Women has highlighted the disproportionate economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women in the Philippines. Most are employed in worst-hit industries by the pandemic, including retail and hospitality.
There is no sugar-coating how hard COVID-19 has been on women at work and at home. And yet, they are also the ones who have shown agility and resourcefulness to adapt to these uncertain times.
We have featured many who have turned to home-based jobs and online work to augment their family income — and they are thriving as digital entrepreneurs. Unsurprisingly, that includes the tourism industry, yes, even in these times of travel restrictions.
In a press release, Airbnb announced that women have become the driving force of its Host community in the Philippines.
Leading the way is Cebu City, which ranks second globally (67 percent) for the highest percentage of women hosts at a city level. It is followed closely by Quezon City and the City of Manila (66 percent).
Those numbers are significantly higher than the global average, where an estimated 55 percent of the company’s 4 million Airbnb hosts globally, or more than 2 million, are women. That puts the Philippines as a leader in the growing gender diversity of Airbnb hosts on the platform.
Globally, new women who started hosting just one listing on Airbnb since the start of the pandemic have collectively earned more than US$600 million since last March 2020.
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This trend has provided a much-needed financial lifeline for women and their families at a time when the economic burdens and sacrifices have fallen disproportionately on their shoulders.
In the Philippines, new Filipino hosts who joined the platform in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic were women at 64 percent. And Pinays are not just house hosts anymore.
Since Airbnb built and launched “Online Experiences” at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020 — an idea proposed by its Host community – 51 percent of online experience hosts are now women.
In a recent Airbnb survey, 35 percent of these women shared that they started their online experience to replace lost income from a full-time or part-time job, and 23 percent said it’s their primary source of income.
“The pandemic has been incredibly difficult for all of us, but especially hard for women. We have seen a record-setting departure of women from the workforce. And yet, at the same time, we have seen many women turn to host on Airbnb.
“We celebrate Pinays across the country — our ilaw ng tahanan — who continue to innovate and seek new economic opportunities to help them and their families stay afloat in these unprecedented times,” shares Amanpreet Bajaj, general manager for India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, Airbnb, in a press release.
Airbnb is optimistic that domestic travel will soon rebound with the country’s vaccine program’s implementation and the easing of travel restrictions and requirements.
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