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Commercial hospitality: a vehicle for the sustainable empowerment of Nepali women

McMillan, Carolyn L. and Maclaren, Andrew C. and O'Gorman, Kevin D. (2011) Commercial hospitality: a vehicle for the sustainable empowerment of Nepali women. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32 (2). pp. 189-208. ISSN 0959-6119

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Abstract

To illustrate how commercial hospitality has catalysed sustainable social change in Nepal through empowering women. Utilising a new framework, developed by combining existing theories, empowerment of women Tea House owners/ managers is assessed. Within a critical feminist paradigm, primary research consisting of interviews and participant observation was undertaken in Nepal over a three month period in the central region of Nepal. Involvement in the hospitality industry improved the livelihoods of the women Tea House owners/ managers, it also has the potential to facilitate sustainable empowerment for future generations, providing them with education, choice, control and opportunities. Although steps were taken to limit rhetorical issues, language barriers could have influenced the findings of the interviews. To fully investigate the potential for hospitality to act as a vehicle for the sustainable empowerment of women, it is suggested that this study be replicated again in another region or that a detailed ethnographic study be carried out. Demonstrates how the commercial hospitality industry can be a force for good; women working in the industry are agents of change, actively improving their levels of empowerment in their immediate environment. The commercial hospitality industry has pioneered the empowerment of women and this could lay the foundation for the further emancipation of women. To date, there has been limited research into the relationship between involvement in the commercial hospitality sector and the empowerment of women; this paper begins to fill this gap by investigating a tourist region of Nepal.