Gender and Tourism Power. Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities
The study of gender as a pertinent issue within tourism began receiving academic interest and systematic investigation in the 1990s . Although on the agenda for 30 years, women continue to face injustice and it remains the case that while women make up half of formal tourism employment, they are far more likely than men to be found in lower-paid, unskilled jobs. Women face discrimination, occupational segregation, they are undervalued, stereotyped and not promoted, they are given less training than men, and they tend to struggle more with work-life balance. Few women are in management jobs, in the public or private sector. As a gendered practice, the working conditions of women in the tourism industry tend to reproduce, or may even deepen, gender inequalities .
Institutional responses are to suggest that women can be empowered by tourism, and indeed, for some it has proved to be a lifeline out of poverty. However, the rhetoric is frequently over stated, the global hegemonic masculinity that gives agency to capitalism frequently results in a lack of control and powerlessness. On a personal level, some women are able to resist and renegotiate gender norms, become role models in their societies and share their power.
This panel seeks further understanding of these pressing issues by exploring continuing power imbalances and injustices experienced by women living with tourism. It invites papers that offer reflections on women’s experiences of tourism work, as well as their responses by way of resistance and renegotiation of gender norms and inequalities.