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Shattering the ceiling: exploring culture and religion’s impact on female empowerment in the Nigerian hospitality industry

Amara Ukachukwu (Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)
Roya Rahimi (Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

ISSN: 2514-9792

Article publication date: 26 February 2024

100

Abstract

Purpose

This study addresses the persistent impact of patriarchal societal structures on women’s empowerment in Nigeria, where social power, political authority and autonomy continue to elude them. Despite advancements made by women in workplaces worldwide, gender inequalities prevail, particularly in the Nigerian hotel industry. Existing qualitative evidence on the intersection of gender, culture and religion in shaping gender diversity and career progression within this industry remains limited. To address this gap, this study employs intersectionality and hegemonic masculinity frameworks to explore the influence of local cultures, religion and gender practices on gender imbalances in three distinct cultural settings in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from in-depth interviews with 38 hotel workers, this research provides original insights into their lived experiences, offering a deeper understanding of the narratives underlying gender inequality statistics. By delving beyond surface-level observations, this study uncovers the multifaceted dynamics that perpetuate gender imbalances. By examining the interplay between gender, culture and religion, this research contributes to a nuanced comprehension of the factors that shape career trajectories in the Nigerian hotel industry.

Findings

The findings of this study reveal the enduring influence of patriarchal societal structures, highlighting the challenges faced by women in accessing social power, political authority and autonomy. By extending intersectionality and hegemonic masculinity approaches, this research unveils the intricate stories that illustrate the underlying complexities of gender imbalances. In doing so, it fills critical gaps in the qualitative evidence surrounding gender diversity and career progression in the Nigerian hotel industry.

Originality/value

This study is original in its comprehensive examination of the intersection of gender, culture and religion in the Nigerian hotel industry. It offers unique insights by conducting in-depth interviews with 38 hotel workers, unravelling the underlying factors contributing to gender imbalances. By extending intersectionality and hegemonic masculinity frameworks, it provides a nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by women and highlights the need for tailored interventions to promote gender equality.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to Professor Silke Machold for her invaluable guidance and support throughout the development and conduct of this study.

Citation

Ukachukwu, A. and Rahimi, R. (2024), "Shattering the ceiling: exploring culture and religion’s impact on female empowerment in the Nigerian hospitality industry", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-05-2023-0349

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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