Solo female travelling is becoming more and more popular. It gives women a sense of empowerment and helps them build their confidence and feel more independent.
More and more women decide to travel across the globe to explore different cultures, meet like-minded people and simply experience the world. Nevertheless, travelling solo as a woman can be more dangerous than travelling solo as a man. That’s because, despite the efforts of the international community to promote gender equality and women’s rights, there still are many countries where women are discriminated against and cultural norms limit their freedoms.
This pieceoutlines which destinations are the most dangerous for solo female travellers based on the rates of gender-based violence, gender inequality, and the general attitude towards women.
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South Africa: It can seem surprising that South Africa is on top of the list as it is a very popular holiday destination amongst American tourists as well as British citizens. Nevertheless, as Rape Crisis Centre reports, around 40% of women in South Africa will be raped or sexually abused in their lifetime. While that refers mainly to women who reside there permanently, female visitors are also at high risk of being raped. It is unlikely for women to feel safe when walking alone at night as South Africa is also notorious for gender-based violence perpetrated by non-partners.Brazil: In terms of gender equality, Brazil performs poorly. According to the Gender Gap Index, Brazil ranks 22nd out of 25 Latin American states. Women are devalued in all spheres of life and do not have the same opportunities as men. That translates to misogynistic attitudes that women travelling to Brazil often have to deal with. In addition to that, Brazil has one of the highest femicide rates in the world. In the state, women and girls are being intentionally killed just because they are female, that is something each solo female traveller has to be aware of.Morocco: In Morocco, conservative gender norms dictate what is expected of women. The society remains largely patriarchal, and, as a result of that, most women experience discrimination on a daily basis. In the social hierarchy, men are seen as superior to women, therefore many believe that women have to blindly follow men’s orders. Since women in Morocco have to dress modestly, many Western female travellers, who look inherently different, are subject to objectifying comments and stares.Egypt: Domestic violence is a big problem in Egypt as many people believe that a man is allowed to beat his wife if she disobeys him. Moreover, rape in marriage is not considered a crime. Almost every day, women in Egypt experience gender-based violence that can have many forms, ranging from sexist comments to physical violence. Rape is one of the most commonly committed crimes in Egypt, so it is important that women travelling solo stay in public areas and do not walk alone at night.India: According to the Human Development Index report released in 2020, India ranked 123rd out of the total of 189 countries in terms of ‘Gender Inequality Index’. In simple terms that means that India does not treat women well. What female travellers deciding to go to India alone have to bear in mind is that human trafficking is a significant problem there. People, including tourists, are frequently kidnapped and trafficked. When it comes to women, they are usually trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.
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