Tourism Education and Women in Bali

Financement :
  • Angers TourismLab
  • Udayana University et Bali State Polytechnic

Partenaires :
  • Udayana University et Bali State Polytechnic :

Sur la période du 29/04/2019 au 30/06/2022

 Traditionally, Balinese society remains patriarchal, with some rare exceptions. Even if Balinese Hinduism officially claims that men and women are born free and have the same rights and duties, in reality, social position within the traditional village varies considerably according to gender (Long and Kindon, 1997). The desa adat rules are based on oral or written codes (awig-awig) which can differ among the villages (Hitchcock and Putra, 2007, 39). Nonetheless, the desa adat are all composed of several banjars, which are more social subdivisions of the village than real territorial ones. According to Byczek (2016, 221), they are “regarded as the most important reference group of the Balinese”. Yet these banjars are made up of married men, who are traditionally considered to be the “head of the family”. They meet several times a month at the banjar pavilion, in order to oversee the religious and traditional life of the inhabitants. Women can participate by giving their opinion, especially to their husband, but are not able to make official decisions.

However, tourism is bringing about evolution in this arena. As observed in different countries (Swain, 1995; Cone, 1995; Sinclair, 1997; Moore & Wen, 2008), women who invest in tourism activities, through handicrafts, shops or homestays, increase their autonomy, which in turn slightly increases their social power, even if this doesn’t mean equity. As stated by Sainclair (1997, p3): “Women obtain some power by providing men with increased material resources, while men retain much of their power owing to the persistence of many facets of traditional gender roles”.

In Bali, it seems that even if gender prejudice persists, tourism activities bring about a slight increase in their social power, all the more so when combined with education (Tajeddini, Ratten & Denisa, 2016). The twenty first century has brought women more access to the latter, a phenomenon that was reinforced in 2015 when the government introduced compulsory education for all up to the age of twelve (Bendesa and Aksari, 2017). Education opens new opportunities to access formal sector jobs and even management roles, particularly within national and international companies. Today women may have access to the highest responsibilities in Indonesia, such as government ministers. In 2001 a woman even become President of Indonesia (2001-2004). This paradoxical situation shows the gap between the evolution of administrative and traditional life, remaining a generally patriarchal system.

That is why we intend to focus this program to analyze the capacity of tourism education to favor the emancipation and empowerment of women in Bali, more especially by studying the professional and social situation of 30 women graduated with higher education degrees in tourism, at different level (from bachelor to PhD).

Contacts :
sylvine.chevalier @