Search staff/organisations CJ Becerra Gualdron
Name CJ Becerra Gualdron

Job details
OrganizationDepartment of Environmental Sciences
Organization UnitCultural Geography
Regular availability
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Economist, master's degree in Economics from Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia. PhD candidate at the Cultural Geography chair group at Wageningen University. Research interest in gender studies. I am particularly focused on tourism with gender approach in San Gil - Colombia, and I am trying to identify how and to what extent the women who participate in the tourism in San Gil can be empowered through it and promote the development of the sector.

Expert Profile
  • Formulation and execution of research projects with a gender approach. Team leadership for project execution.
Social media
  Claudia Becerra Gualdron on Linkedin
  Claudia Becerra Gualdron on Twitter

Key publications
Researcher ID's



The tourism sector around the world has a differentiated reality for men and women (UNWTO-UN Women, 2011). Salary gaps have been detected (Ferreira & Ramos, 2016), concentration of women in positions of low qualification in areas related to gender stereotypes (Tran & Walter, 2014); of greater flexibility and informality (Ferguson, 2010), which generally leads to lower wages for women, lower social recognition (Murguialday, 2015) and in some cases sexual harassment due to greater vulnerability (Pritchard, 2014). As well as concentration of men in decision-making positions (Murguialday, 2015).

In addition, tourism has some negative impacts manifested mainly in women (Ferguson & Moreno, 2015) such as the sexual exploitation of women and girls (Murguialday, 2015) and prostitution (Ferguson, 2009) and the huge number of women who "benefit from tourism" through double working days (McKenzie, 2007).

In spite of the above, tourism has a great potential to empower women (UNWTO-UN Women, 2011) due to the comparatively high participation of women (Pritchard, 2014), income generation capacity (Kumar & Silva, 2015) and independence (Duffy, Kline, Mowatt, & Chancellor, 2015), ability to gradually change gender stereotypes (Schellhorn, 2010), ability to establish contact with the public sphere (Figueroa-Domecq et al, 2015), and the sector's potential to induce social change (Marquina & Pérez, 2014).

In practical terms, tourism has a combination of negative and positive effects for women (Tran & Walter, 2014), the final balance, usually depends on public and private interventions and a detailed knowledge of the context and the participation of the actors.

San Gil was declared the tourist capital of Santander (Colombia) in 2004 and today is recognized nationally and internationally for its importance in adventure tourism (Rueda, 2001). Despite the importance of tourism in San Gil, it presents several problems. The participatory workshops carried out in the construction of the Municipal Development Plan (2016-2019) found that the sector has disarticulation of the involved organizations, informality, little control to tourist service providers, little investment for the maintenance of tourist sites, traffic jams, accidents, extreme sports offer without adequate security, pollution of the river, low tourist satisfaction, economic losses in the sector, among others. Ochoa & Suárez (2011) also mention the proliferation of sex tourism, drug and alcohol consumption and environmental degradation and the absence of information systems.

Among other things, we can detect that none of these identified problems refers to the situation of women. In this context, it is worth asking: Are there gender gaps in tourism activity and its impacts in San Gil? Can the participation of women in the tourism sector of San Gil generate the necessary conditions for their empowerment? To what extent does participation in tourism contribute to the empowerment of women? What policy recommendations can be made to encourage tourism development and the empowerment of women in San Gil? What indicators can be used to monitor the key themes of tourism development with a gender focus in San Gil?

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