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Women’s Empowerment in an Indian Trekking Company

Belén Martínez Caparrós, University of the West of England, UK.


The Ladakhi Women’s Trekking Company (LWTC) is a tourism operator based in Leh, India, owned and operated by Ladakhi women. Local guide Thinlas Chorol founded the LWTC in 2009 to give women in Ladakh the opportunity to participate in the traditionally male-dominated areas of trekking and mountain climbing. The treks are completely organized by these women who act as guides, porters and cooks as well as customer service, demonstrating that women can fulfil the roles that are normally reserved for men. By working as trekking guides, these women are challenging gender stereotypes in Ladakh, where a woman is expected to be submissive and conform to a traditional Ladakhi notion of obedience and discipline.


Adapted from ‘Chapter 6 Trekking to Women’s Empowerment: A Case Study of a Female-Operated Travel Company in Ladakh’. In: Cole S. (eds) Gender Equality and Tourism: Beyond Empowerment . CABI, pp. 57-66.


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