The Foreign Office has this week released updated advice for women travelling to India following a second incident of a sexual nature against foreign women.
Incidents of this nature are becoming increasingly common in the Indian subcontinent despite expressions of public outrage at the sexual assaults that have marred the reputation of the country but it’s not just India that is potentially dangerous for women. So where are the places that women travelling solo should definitely avoid and even those with a partner or group should steer well clear of?
India is the number one place to avoid at the moment and whilst it’s not been common for women to be attacked there in the past, there seems to be a shift linked to men’s perceptions of women and increasingly, foreign women. All potentially dangerous situations should be avoided and travel in large groups is recommended.
South Africa is another country where gender issues seem to make sexual assault of women ‘acceptable’ and for that reason the country has one of the highest rates of sexual assault on the planet. Myths which link rape to the cure of AIDS don’t help but it’s certainly not a travel destination the single women should consider lightly.
Sadly the Dominican Republic is gaining increasing notoriety for violent crime, occasionally specifically against women and it’s not unheard of for a bus or taxi driver to assist the offenders in their crime by driving passengers to somewhere remote. The advice there is only to use recommended transport companies and, where advised to, stay in your complex for the duration of your holiday, venturing out only on tour operator organised excursions.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Few people would consider travel there but for those keen to see gorillas in their natural habitat, the Democratic Republic of Congo is perfect. However it is also a dangerous place, more so because many of the crimes, especially those against women, are carried out by those meant to provide protection – the government troops.
Finally in some parts, Jamaica is considered dangerous for couples and single women and tour operators suggest you don’t leave your hotel complex at night. It’s not for nothing that there are often armed guards on the resort entrances.
Most holidays are safe though and it would be irresponsible to restrict the travel of solo women tourists. With use of common sense and by making friends amongst fellow travellers, it’s possible to avoid all of the pitfalls of solo travel and have a great time.