Ever since 1975, International Women's Day — a day to celebrate the achievements of women around the world — has come with an accompanying theme. Come Saturday, March 8, the world will look to commemorate this year's theme of "inspiring change" and challenge the status quo for the betterment of female equality.
In the world of travel, change is underway, with the global travel market made up by 64 per cent of women, according to 2013 data from Intrepid Travel. Women are also a driving force when it comes to business travel, with half of female business travellers holding 85 per cent of the purchasing power, according to CNN. It's also estimated that 80 per cent of all business travel decisions are made by women.
Solo female travel has also changed. In a poll of travel agents, an estimated 59 per cent saw an increase in female travel clients travelling by themselves now compared to 10 years ago.
And yet, despite the evolution of the female traveller, there are still barriers. Instances of blatant of sexism directed not only to women who travel, but work in the travel, tourism and aviation industry is still very much alive. The threat of sexual violence and abuse is still prevalent in certain countries that even governments continue to encourage women to ware fake wedding rings to discourage unwanted attention.
It's clear there's still work to be done, but the signs are positive. Inspiration and change in the realm of travel won't come by staying home. To commemorate this year's theme, the Huffington Post Canada Travel looked back to the past at some of the earliest female travellers, writers, and activists as a source of future inspiration for all women. Here are our picks:
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