13 Dec 2018

Dear Ms. Rekha Sharma,

Greetings to National Commission of Women from EQUATIONS ( Equitable Tourism Options), Bangalore. EQUATIONS ( Equitable Tourism Options) Bangalore, is a research, campaign, advocacy organization which works on various aspects and issues of tourism. We work on the aspects of just and responsible and equitable tourism. Tourism is a major source of livelihood in many states of India and we are critically engaged with the political concerns of tourism.

Amidst many aspects that concern tourism like the economics of tourism, labor, livelihoods ( coasts, hills and forests, environment etc), tourism forms and models, EQUATIONS also works on the aspects of society and culture in tourism. Within the Society, Culture Tourism programme, we work on the issues and aspects of Women and Tourism. We work on the concerns on sexual exploitation of women in tourism. This entails interventions with respect to the prevention of sexual exploitation of women in and around tourism regions. We are engaged with policy advocacy with the Ministry of Tourism and MWCD and other legal authorities on the issues of protection of women labor in tourism as well as those in the formal tourism industry. This involves both women labor informal as well as the unorganised sector linked to tourism.

We are raising concerns on sexual harassment of women at the workplace in the tourism sector as well as the industry by advocating against the commodification /objectification of women in tourism and making the tourism processes and the industry accountable to such concerns.

It would be good if EQUATIONS is also included in this collaborative endeavor of regional consultations and if we could also add value to the inputs on this issue.
EQUATIONS would request you to add women in tourism sector and industry in the two tasks that it has planned and committed to take up pursuant to the National level Consultation:
1) Pursuant to the discussions at the meeting on wide-scale non-compliance by industries and the corporate and commercial enterprises and others for which designated ministries exist, the NCW will do a sample sectoral study. We look forward to the NCW making public its proposal from the same in terms of numbers, sectors, etc., so that women’s groups, professional associations and trade unions may help assist the process.

In this endeavour we would request NCW to include :
The Ministry of Tourism, the tourism sector and industry: Accommodation Units, Tour Agencies and Operators, Adventure Groups and associations of women linked to tourism in different tourism regions.The women linked to tourism who are part of the Unorganised Sector-
1. The women guides belonging to the guide associations , those guides who are part of different hotel groups.
2. Women Artisans in the tourism regions
3. Women Vendors (Collectives, Hawker's Associations, Town Vending Committees) in the tourism regions.
2) Similarly in government ministries, departments, bodies and industries the NCW must do an assessment of compliance in relation to prevention, prohibition, redress and reporting as mandated by the law.

We request the NCW to do an assessment of compliance in relation to prevention, prohibition, redress and reporting of the Ministry of Tourism, the Department of Tourism, the Tourism Development Committees and Councils /Cabinets and the Tourism Industry -
a) Accommodation Units, star Hotels, Guest Houses, Lodges and Homestays in tourism regions.
b) Tour Operators and Tour Agencies/travel groups across states.
c) EQUATIONS is also included in this collaborative endeavor of regional consultations on the issue of sexual harassment of women in the tourism regions.

EQUATIONS would be interested in collaborating in all the three endeavors with the National commission of women and add valuable inputs in the best possible ways. This we can also do in collaboration with other regional organisations that we work in the context of tourism in different tourism regions across states in India.

Do let us know in what capacities we can best engage .