One in three women experience physical or sexual abuse at some point in their lives, and these numbers are only the ones we know about. There are numerous reasons why women might not report acts of violence, but perhaps fourth-wave feminism is working towards changing the discourse through movements such as #metoo. This International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women UN Women is asking us to Orange the World and stand together against rape culture. Today will be followed by 16 days of activism so it isn’t too late to get involved.

According to the UN General Assembly (1993), in its Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women violence can be physical, sexual or psychological and it manifests in numerous forms. In some contexts, some of these forms of violence are normalized such as marital rape, or intimidation at work. There are clear links between violence against women and tourism, these are highlighted when women tourists are murdered or through the work of activist groups such as Las Kellys. However, few studies in tourism have explicitly explored these links outside of sexual harassment in hospitality, which is why Dr Paola Vizcaino, Dr Heather Jeffrey and Dr Claudia Eger created a book proposal on the topic.

Heather Jeffrey and Sara Ali Abdelghani Abdelmonem present in Dubai

The edited book will be published in 2020 with CABI and it will explore trafficking, sexual harassment, fourth-wave feminism, men’s rights groups, personal safety and the double bind. Sadly the editors did not receive contributions from those studying sexualities or non-binary genders, which highlights both a dearth in scholarly work but also future research avenues. In order to direct attention towards the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Dr Heather Jeffrey and Sara Ali Abdelghani Abdelmonem presented the profiles of activist groups working towards the elimination of violence against women to be included in the book at the Institute for Sustainable Development at Middlesex University Dubai.

There are still 16 days left – what will you do?