Power of Gender Impact on Participation in Leisure Activities in Tanzania

Published: 2021-09-14 09:20:08
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Participation in domestic tourism basing on gender may not be looked at gender in leisure activities but can also viewed in other angle such as employment opportunities for women in tourism industry. According to Margeaux (2017) due to gender inequalities embedded in history, culture and economics provided a contextual lens needed to understand gender inequalities effecting women’s participation in tourism. Although Tanzania’s Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children reported in 2016 that sixty percent of women in Tanzania live in absolute poverty. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Tanzania’s travel and tourism industry constitutes five percent of the country’s total GDP, a figure that is expected to grow by 6.2 percent by 2025. This growing travel and tourism industry, which encompasses Kilimanjaro’s trekking economy, will require an expanding supply of labor. This demand for labor creates a potential and lucrative employment opportunity for Tanzania’s impoverished women.
Power of gender not only hinder women participation in leisure activities but also in in other income earning activities example of the study done in Kilimanjaro on mountain trekking, Margeaux (2017), argued that the final barrier unique to trekking tourism and blocking projects aimed at enhancing women’s participation in Kilimanjaro’s trekking tourism industry derives from the colonial history of Kilimanjaro and mountaineering generally that historically and currently, porters and guides on Kilimanjaro are male. This implies women are marginalized in tourism participation due to power of gender. In the study of analysis of gender roles within chagga households that practice ripe banana street selling in Moshi rural, Minde (2015) argued that, gender roles in most societies are based on culture-stereotypes which are socially constructed and can therefore be reconstructed. According to Margeaux (2017) culturally constructed barriers to women’s participation in Kilimanjaro’s trekking industry can indeed be reconstructed through the aforementioned robust women’s economic empowerment projects that target the roots of these inequalities. However, such local projects will be insufficient if the gender politics of the trekking companies and of trekking tourists are not simultaneously conformed.
Women’s decision to participate in tourism activities is surrounded by obstacles such as access to and control of resources and their participation in community activities and local leadership roles most readily exhibit the sociocultural effect of patriarchy on gender disparities. Indeed, men ranked high in terms of control and ownership of resources compared to women men dominated in terms of participation in community meetings and activities. Due to power of gender in most of the societies in Tanzania, men control the resources accrued by women in their various jobs and unfortunately, male investment decisions often overturn women’s original intentions for resource expenditure, bearing little to no returns for the family. Thus, women compete with their husbands, not only for resource control, but also for intra familial decision making power over resource expenditure.
Participation in domestic tourism is influenced by gender according to studies done in many parts of the world. According to Koester (2015), gender and power are naturally linked, power perspective shows that gender is tied to power relations at all levels of society. Gender is a system of power that not only divides men and women but also places men above women in terms of power. Gender is associated with power as power is defined as ability to attain ends. The studies have shown that male and female have different motives to travel, that male prefer more recreation activities than women. Power as a component of Social Exchange Theory in this study is based on gender since in many cases the relationship between men and women is influenced by power that men possess in terms of physical and in many cases economic. Most of the time men influence the behaviour of women and most of the time it depends on someone’s role in the society. There are possibilities of having these factors observed in this study, and other factors may emerge out of it.
Power of gender is common in most Tanzania societies and it has effected decision to participate in domestic tourism as most women depend on support from men. In this study, most of the activities in the destination seem to be male activities. Women are not confident to travel to the destination without being accompanied by men. In Tanzania women have a lot of responsibilities in the family and most of the women depend on their men financially, and this affects their decision. It has been documented that women are not engaged in tourism activities because of the responsibilities they hold in their families. According to Jaafar et al. (2015) gender has significant effect on tourism related activities.
Power as an aspect of gender has been used in this study since it has been used in other studies. Studies analyzed power in different aspects. According to Jordan et al. (2013), power in a community setting is conceived as the ability to exercise influence in a decision-making process. It is viewed as a personal attribute that distinguishes leaders from followers, that means, those people that seems to have power become leaders and control those without power. In a community setting, the ability to exercise influence may be in the hands of individuals, groups of like-minded individuals, or organizations who have more resources than others. There are two traditional notions of the distribution of power over within any given society. The superior power structure is highly centralized, with decision-making controlled by a handful of individuals or groups that are superior in the society. Example of power in superior structure is most often held by those in government, business owners, or those with important social status or access to resources, financial or otherwise. There is pluralist power structure such as government agencies, their decision-making power residing with many rather than few.
At the community level, the concept of power is inevitably linked with politics, since stakeholders within a community struggle for scarce resources, government agencies are often forced to exercise their decision-making power. Power structures within communities are complex, and power can shift on an issue-by-issue basis. Speer and Hughey (1995) suggested that there are three main ways power is manifested in societies.
Power can be applied through control of resources used to reward or punish other parties. Those in power can create or eliminate barriers to participation for those individuals not in power and power can be exercised through the control of information flow, either keeping important information in the hands of those in power or distributing it widely. As the concept of power has been used differently depending on the nature of the study, this study on citizen’s participation in domestic tourism used power and associate it with gender to identify and analyzed the influence of power in the citizen’s participation in domestic tourism.
Lie and Peters (2016) look at power in aspects of social capital. Their study observed power differences in implementing community participation. Other studies observed power as unequal in authority and leadership, conflict and knowledge. Abubakar (2016) used SEM to test empirical model on influence of electronic word of mouth (ewom) on destination trust and travel intention, and diagnosed gender differences in the proposed model. The study found that the impact of ewom on destination trust was significant for both gender, but stronger for men while the impact of destination trust on travel intention was stronger for women.
The findings from the regression analysis suggested that ewom is positively related to travel intention and destination trust while destination trust is positively related to travel intention. Chili (2015) used SEM to examine the perception and attitude of the community towards tourism impact and sustainable development. The study revealed that negative perception offset positive outcome of residents’ involvement in tourism development. Since studies have been done in other countries on power and used in different aspects. This study analyzed power as an aspect of gender in analyzing the participation of Tanzanian citizens in domestic tourism. To fill this gap the study developed and tested hypothesis two: Power positively affects the participation of Tanzania citizens in domestic tourism.
In social exchanges several researchers used power to discuss the influence of actor level of power in the social exchange process. In Tanzania man as the actor influences the behavior of women since most men own resources in the society. Researchers argued that inclusion of power in social exchange is necessary because it determines the partner’s ability to take advantage of the outcome of the exchange. Power in this study was based on gender, which is the ability of the actor to influence the outcome of another actor’s behaviour or experience. Women behaviour and decision in many activities are influenced by men, and this may involve a women decision to participate in leisure activities. Power can be used in different ways depending on the nature of the study and the society that the study is being conducted. Power can be translated as a subset of relations among not only individuals but also social units depending on behaviour of other units.
According to Nunkoo (2016), power can be conceptualized as the capacity to attain ends and to produce intended effects on others, and it has been used as a way to achieve mutual benefits between the actors involved in the exchange process. In Tanzania society’s power as an aspect of gender has influence in many social settings, since women hold family responsibilities which interferes with engagement in leisure activities. The power of gender leads to the behavior change that affects citizens’ participation in domestic tourism. Men may be occupied by resources and convince women to participate in domestic tourism due to behavior change influenced by resources that men possess.
According to Nunkoo (2016), power in an exchange situation is determined by the actor’s level of control over resources than another actor. This means that it may also happen on the other side because they are also other women who own their own resources. The authors insisted that a partner with power is someone who owns and controls different resources which are available for exchange with another partner. A resource can be anything such as property, money, competence, knowledge and skills owned by a person and that can be made available to other as instrumental to satisfaction of their needs.
Koester (2015) analyzed power basing on gender: how gender within the family shape power at all levels of society; how wider economic, political and social structures rely on and reproduce gender power relations; and how sources of power offer new opportunities for peace and prosperity within the family. Studies on power of gender shows that gender are tied to power relations at all levels of society Koester (2015). It is obvious for those with power to make decision and be respected and accepted within the family and society.
Using the power as a component of SET and associate it with gender, few studies have investigated the component to study citizens’ participation in domestic tourism. Nunkoo and Ramkisson’s (2011) study reveals that powerful residents were positively disposed towards tourism compared to less powerful ones. Nunkoo (2016) argues that although results of existing studies on power and residents perception on tourism have generally been conclusive, further research into resident’s tourism development under different contexts and forms of development should be carried out. Hence, this study fill this gap by analyze power of gender in Tanzania context basing on hypothesis two; Power positively affects the participation of Tanzania citizens in domestic tourism.

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