Published on : Saturday, August 12, 2017
Women have always been caring wives, mothers, and caretakers for centuries, but what about the role of the independent woman? The woman without a husband? The woman without children? The woman with ambition and drive? And even those married women with children who still have a desire to make their professional aspirations a reality.
This Women’s Month is especially focused toward reciprocating the message of economic empowerment of South Africa’s women.
Globally, more and more women are entering male-dominated industries and flourishing, female representation in African parliaments is increasing, and even secular states are reviewing sexist legislation under increased international pressure for gender equality.
Although SA is lucky to be protected by one of the world’s most liberal constitutions, but still the society remains highly sexist and patriarchal. Women in SA need to carve out a place for themselves as vital contributors to an economic system that is inclusive of women as equals to men. Tourism is South Africa’s fastest growing industry. A report released by Statistics South Africa in December 2016, revealed that tourism now employs more workers than mining. Around 700 000 South Africans are employed in tourism, with every 1 in 22 employed citizens working in this sector.
The problem with this sector, however, is worrying levels of gender representation. From running catering businesses, to bed and breakfasts and hostels, to guided tours, South African women are beginning to realize the limitless potential the tourism sector can bring. It is also an ideal sector for women to express themselves and their culture, or educate foreigners on the intricately diverse beauty of the country.