Responsible Tourism Blog Series 3/3: Treat everyone with kindness
Gender equality is a battle women have been fighting for centuries. During the 1900s some countries enjoyed advances in the rights of women, but even today in many developing countries women are still not seen as equals and do not share the same freedoms as their male counterparts. This can often be due to cultural differences, but through shared knowledge and understanding, these communities can also enjoy the benefits of gender equality.
In some communities, it is not uncommon for girls as young as twelve years old to enter into an arranged marriage. Unfortunately, this often means the girl is removed from school and sent to live with a man, many years her senior in an unfamiliar place. Being twelve years old is a strange and uncomfortable age for everyone, you are starting puberty and beginning your journey to become an adult. Starting a marriage and family at this time would only add to the confusion.
Fortunately, each of us has a voice and an increasing number of women have been given the opportunity to use it. Many women in both developed and developing countries are using their voices to speak out and fight for gender equality, especially for those who can’t.
One key area that is offering women more opportunities is the tourism and hospitality industry. In many developing countries, these industries have experienced huge growth, allowing women the chance to begin their own businesses or seek employment in areas they hadn’t previously had access to. Many women entrepreneurs are starting their own tour companies, employing other women and creating tours specifically aimed at bringing women together. The increased tourism market has created many new opportunities for women and opened pathways to economic independence they may not have otherwise had.
Whilst progress has been made in the fight for gender equality, there is a ways to go. Women are often required to have higher qualifications when applying for the same jobs as men and women tend to be paid significantly less for the same services.
We enjoy seeing the progress in women’s rights that so many have fought to secure, but we will not stop until equality is a reality for everyone, no matter where they live in the world. To read more about the positive work being made to achieve gender equality, click below.