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Ameliorating poverty for village women in rural Nepal through tourism
conference contributionposted on 2018-09-05, 00:00 authored by Wendy HillmanWendy Hillman, Kylie RadelKylie Radel
The owner of an all-women’s trekking tourism company in Nepal was interviewed regarding women’s empowerment in the tourist sector in Nepal. The research was undertaken in order to identify approaches to ameliorate poverty for women living in rural and remote Nepal. Throughout rural Nepal, women have traditionally been marginalised, undertaking home duties and childcare responsibilities; whilst simultaneously working in the fields (KC, 2012). Many impoverished and marginalised Nepali women have been empowered and ‘lifted out of poverty’ through the implementation of training and instruction programs designed to prepare them with skills to participate in the tourist industry in Nepal. The participant narrated stories of women’s moves from a lowly status in their home and village to levels of responsible positions in tourism and, in some cases, of running their own businesses. Opportunities for women now exist to train, practice and become workers and managers in the tourist industry. Training through female only owned companies is available to women who wish to engage with this approach. Avenues for self-employment, a steady income, positive gender role modelling and options in education are now open to these women (Satyal, 2000; Upadhyay, Pradhan & Grandon, 2011; Archarya & Halpenny, 2013). The research shows that through a grassroots approach to educating and informing women, avenues for self-improvement, self-advancement and growth through the development of local tourism are advancing the women, their villages and the country. But, as Nepal is still an emerging economy, there is a long way to go.