In many parts of the Third World the number of local communities seeking involvement in ecotourism ventures has soared in the past decade. A cogent concern, from a development perspective, is that many such ventures have progressed with scant regard for the changes they may provoke in gender roles, gender relations and access to resources. As with other development initiatives which profess to be 'gender neutral', ecotourism runs the risk of disadvantaging and marginalising local women. This paper considers both positive and negative ways in which women are engaging with ecotourism enterprises in Third World contexts. Such examples could help to guide agencies which wish to find ways of facilitating local level empowerment of both men and women through ecotourism in the future.
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