Exploring the challenges for women working in the event and festival sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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Almathami, Rafiah
Khoo-Lattimore, Catheryn
Yang, Elaine Chiao Ling
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In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the participation of women in many activities, including employment, is severely restricted and their continued exclusion from public life is a significant issue as KSA looks to improve its economic prosperity. Women’s underrepresentation in many economic sectors is a focus of the national ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ programme. By cultivating an understanding of the workplace challenges and employment limitations faced by women in KSA, government and industry can improve employment opportunities for Saudi women. The primary aim of this study is to explore the challenges for women working in the KSA event and festival sector. This research used a case study approach involving semi-structured interviews with personnel from within event and festival organisations and ministries in KSA. The study identified several challenges to Saudi women’s inclusion in the sector: cultural values, social network, workplace environment, education and training, gender diversity and regulation. Addressing these issues through evidence-based strategies can improve empowerment and inclusion of women in the event and festival sector. The lessons learned can also be applied to other employment sectors in KSA and extend our current knowledge of challenges to women’s empowerment by providing new perspectives arising from the context of KSA.

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Tourism Recreation Research
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This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Tourism Recreation Research, 07 Oct 2020, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: https://doi.org/10.1080/02508281.2020.1821329
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This publication has been entered as an advanced online version in Griffith Research Online.
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Other commerce, management, tourism and services not elsewhere classified
Employment equity and diversity
Human geography
Social Sciences
Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism
Social Sciences - Other Topics
Saudi Arabia
empowering women
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Almathami, R; Khoo-Lattimore, C; Yang, ECL, Exploring the challenges for women working in the event and festival sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tourism Recreation Research, 2020