Manager   •   about 2 years ago

Craftswomen working in tourism sector are challenged by dual roles, familial balance, safety concerns, and family restrictions leading to decline in Pakistan’s traditional handicrafts production.

Forbes, an international magazine included Pakistan in its list of ‘under-the-radar trips of 2020'. Also in 2018, around 1.9 million foreign travellers visited Pakistan; all this indicates Pakistan’s growing potential in global tourism market. While the government is making all possible efforts to promote tourism, there is one thing that the government is missing on and that is consideration of gender-tourism aspects, and the importance of local handicrafts in promotion of tourism.

Craftswomen who work in tourism sector are challenged by dual roles, familial balance, harassment, family restrictions. These problems not only affect the craftswomen in tourism sector but it also creates barriers for other women who wish to work in tourism sector. At a larger picture the community wellbeing, handicraft industry and tourism industry itself is heavily impacted.

When an Why:
The challenges exist because women are socially and culturally expected to do household chores in our society. Moreover the financial constraints also prevent women to set up their handicrafts businesses. The growing industrialization is also to blame for the dying handicrafts businesses in our tourism sector.

Way forward:
In order to make tourism inclusive for all, empower women living close to tourism areas and revitalize dying handicrafts of Pakistan, we can address the challenges faced by the utilization of digital tools. A web-based application can connect craftswomen to designated vending spaces allocated in famous tourist spots.

Art and tourism complement each other; hence development of business to business or a business to consumer model application/website will generate livelihoods for indigenous women, promote tourism and contribute to GDP by bringing foreign exchange. The online platform will expose the local handmade products not only to a local market but also international market and would help in building Pakistan’s soft power through its culture at a global stage."


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