Women Empowerment in Marginalized Villages via Tourism: A Case of Aswan Governorate, Egypt

Sally Khalil

Abstract


Literature emphasized that women empowerment represents a hot issue in today's world as long as governments, international organizations, and local communities are concerned. A nutshell, women in various communities need to get empowered economically, socially, and politically. In 2008, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) implemented an action plan for empowering women through tourism since tourism can achieve woman empowerment by offering job opportunities and generating income.  In this context, the present study explores the ways in which women from marginalized communities in Aswan governorate might do as tourism activities to alleviate poverty, thus contributing to the well-being of themselves and their communities. Survey data was collected using focus group discussions, in depth interview, and by means of physical visits. Secondary data was also combined through literature review of previous studies to provide an overview of the potential of tourism in contributing to women’s empowerment, tensions and complexities in the environment facing women and offered tentative recommendations for better benefits for women. Women in Aswan can be empowered via tourism by utilizing the unique Nubian way of life, culture, traditions and customs, existing heritage sites, nature and hospitality, and handicrafts. The main services women can possibly offer in tourism activities are: Tour guiding and catering. However, they should be trained first to acquire skills and knowledge. This paper concludes some of the issues that need to be considered for better women empowerment through tourism in marginalized Aswan villages. It also suggests a tourist route that demonstrates the potential for tourism activities in these villages and ways to develop women’s role and income generation.


Keywords


Women Empowerment, Tourism, Aswan, Marginalized Villages

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