THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN TOURISM
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report, the global gender gap will eventually close in an incredible 132 years.
The report highlights persistent gender gaps in all sectors of society: economic participation and opportunity, education, health and political empowerment. In education and health partnerships, the path to gender equality appears to be faster than political empowerment and economic participation and opportunity.
Clearly, we’re only taking small steps, if any at all. As a society, we must pursue strategic goals to accelerate this process. Furthermore, we must pay attention to the forces that interrupt and hinder these advances. The first step is to identify and name them.
A key point in this issue is the recognized nature of women’s “unpaid work” devoted to maintaining the home and caring for relatives. According to UN Women research, “Women do at least two and a half times as much unpaid care and housework as men.” Add this to the situation and employment, and women have less time and pay (often doing the same work ), which means they have fewer resources to live and thrive. But what does this have to do with the role of women in tourism?
Tourism growth and development.
From a historical perspective, since ancient times, humans have behaved like a nomadic people. While nomadic life has existed for most of human history, the tourism economic sector is relatively new. Previously, journeys were associated with migration, livelihood, trade and pilgrimage, often for certain groups.
The popularity of tourism and leisure tourism began in the early 19th century. Its development was fueled by advances in industrialization with the arrival of the railroad and the steam engine, a direct result of the Industrial Revolution in transportation. The rise of tourism as an economic sector and the growth of travel have fueled shifts resulting from exposure to new cultures, languages, landscapes and realities, further accelerating the process of globalization. Enabling new forms of communication between different cultures, expanding the worldview of travelers and residents by exchanging information and experiences about their heritage, autonomous paradigms of certain cultures and breaking down prejudices. For all these reasons, tourism, if managed responsibly, can be an important tool in building world peace and accelerating positive social impact, and can be a vital ally in achieving gender equality.
Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Travel
Historically, women have been associated with the domestic sphere and men with the public sphere. Breaking down these stereotypes is hard work. A review of cultural attitudes and laws can be a powerful support for these changes.
Although progress has been slow, less than a century ago women were denied the right to vote, run for political office, have their own bank accounts or manage their own money. When it comes to travel, women are not allowed to travel alone in most countries, at least not without the permission of a man. Even today, in some countries, this right is not guaranteed. Everywhere, these rights are under constant threat. To counter all of this, it is important to have female leadership and diversity across all spheres of power.
Women have more rights and protections than they had just a few years ago. We have a lot of female travelers and in some parts of the wider travel industry women are in the majority. However, we still have countries that are more difficult for female travelers to travel to, especially solo, but this single female trend is growing globally. That’s why throughout history, women who wanted to travel alone have used art and skill to subvert established social rules and norms.
A Story of Female Gender Erasure and a Lonely Traveler
Women have a gender gap in many areas of life and business. But what is it? How does this affect how we think about careers and roles of power? What is the importance of highlighting the women of yesterday and today?
The gender erasure of women takes place in