What is really empowering?
Lucy Ferguson's last article Promoting gender equality and empowering women? Tourism and the third Millennium Development Goals, brings an important debating point to the discussion about women and tourism, after the Un Women-Unwto Report.
Here is the summary
The relationship between tourism and development has been explored in tourism studies and in policy-making circles for several decades. However, very little research has been carried out into the gender dimensions of this relationship. Using the third Millennium Development Goal (MDG3) - gender equality and women's empowerment - as the focus, this paper explores this theme from a critical perspective informed by feminist approaches to development. It analyses the claim that tourism can contribute to MDG3 by reviewing the research on the impact of tourism employment on gender relations and the tensions and complexities that this presents. The main body of this paper presents a critical overview of global gender and tourism policies, focusing on the World Tourism Organisation and the World Bank. It concludes by arguing that while tourism development may, in theory, contribute to gender equality and women's empowerment, a substantive reframing of policies is required in order to be able to maximise this potential.