Walking, Sharing and Learning with Local Communities in Turkey

Now taking place in September 2017

Photo 12This conference will consider women’s equality in tourism and explore ways of improving opportunities and ensuring gender balance.

On the one side of the coin we know tourism can empower women, enhance autonomy, agency and authority. It can be a life-line providing not only income, but economic security, independence and increased confidence. Tourism has been shown to promote female solidarity and often leads to enhanced status in communities. Training through tourism ventures has increased informed and active participation in the decision-making processes, involvement in community affairs and some women have gone on to become community leaders.

On the other side of the coin, tourism continues to reproduce gender subordination, discrimination and occupational segregation. Women’s work tends to be undervalued and underpaid and many women are forced to work long, unsocial hours aggravating the struggle with the work life balance. Furthermore, women are often denied equal access to promotion and training opportunities, thereby increasing, rather than narrowing the gender gap. Furthermore, the negative impacts of tourism are felt more acutely by women.

This conference will grapple with the underlying causes of gender inequities and address key questions, such as: In what circumstances does tourism bring positive change for women and how can these be replicated? What strategies are required to address the under-representation of women in decision making positions? What kinds of policies and strategies are needed to facilitate gender equality for women working at all levels in tourism? How can women’s entrepreneurship be better promoted and supported?

Unlike any other tourism conference we will walk the talk. We will stay with Turkish women, in Anatolia, in their homestays, empowering and positively affecting their lives. We will immerse ourselves in the community, visiting initiatives, talking and discussing as we walk, accompanied by local guides. We will share our ideas and research in creative ways, not solely through PowerPoint. Walking shoes will be more useful than a remote mouse. Places will be deliberately limited so that networking can be deeper and more meaningful. If you have original ideas to contribute or experience that will help drive change please let us know by email to conference@equalityintourism.org as soon as possible.