Tourism and Gendered Silences: Emplacing the Meaning of Gender In/Equality

Claudia Eger, Graham Miller, Caroline Scarles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Gendered discourses of community life establish parallel narratives of tourism and development that can provide limited scope for transformational change. This raises questions about the ways in which tourism can be integrated more effectively within the gender agenda of destinations. By emplacing the meaning of gender and dis/empowerment in Berber communities, this study aims to engage with the multiple subjectivities that (re)produce an understanding of gender-based inequality. While tourism does not directly interact with women’s empowerment in this context, tour operators’ investment in education projects for girls contributes to the creation of alternative dialogues between community and development discourses. The adoption of an Islamic feminist framework promotes a critical and contextual understanding of how difference is produced through discourse and how this is manifested through wider material and cultural inequalities. To study the complex intersections and interactions between theory, context, and partial perspectives, this research adopts a case study approach positioned within the context of tour operators’ involvement in destination communities, identifying the Education for All project in Morocco as an example of a tourismsupported educational project. Data collection draws on participant observation and qualitative
interviews, with the research conducted with school-aged children being paired with respondentled visual methods. Findings show that the girls’ understanding of empowerment is based on a sense of
responsibility for the self, which does not forfeit the flourishing of community bonds. However, it questions underpinning gender ideologies that build on an understanding of equality based on
respect and shame. Women’s increasing education and demand of respect rests on processes of negotiation and mobilisation that, over time, might have the potential to challenge the local
gender order and have knock-on effects on wider community development. This process can be in alignment with social norms and general community desire. However, there is significant
scope for it to be disruptive, and it is through these disruptions that the current understanding can be challenged and the opportunity to create differences from within is afforded.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 Critical Tourism Studies Proceedings. CTS 7
EditorsKellee Caton
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationKamloops, BC
PublisherThompson Rivers University
Publication date2017
Article number105
ISBN (Electronic)9780991687121
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event7th Critical Tourism Studies Conference 2017 - Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Duration: 25 Jun 201729 Jun 2017
Conference number: 7


Conference7th Critical Tourism Studies Conference 2017
CityPalma de Mallorca
Internet address

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