Traveling, whether solo or in a group, is an enriching experience that opens doors to new cultures and perspectives. However, safety concerns can cast a shadow over the excitement, especially for female travelers. The unfortunate reality is that some countries pose significant risks to women’s safety.
The Women’s Danger Index1, compiled by journalists Asher and Lyric Fergusson, sheds light on the most dangerous destinations for solo female travelers based on various factors including street safety, violence against women, legal discrimination, and gender inequality. Let’s delve into the top 10 dangerous countries for women travelers in 2024:
The 10 Dangerous Countries for Women Travelers in 2024
1. South Africa
Topping the list as the most dangerous country for solo female travelers is South Africa. Shockingly, only 25% of women feel safe walking alone at night in this nation. With a notorious reputation for sexual violence, where over 40% of South African women are estimated to experience rape in their lifetime. It’s no wonder South Africa receives the lowest grade on the index, earning an “F” for its grim statistics.
Brazil follows closely as the second-most dangerous country for women travelers. A mere 28% of women feel secure walking alone at night, coupled with the third-highest rate of intentional homicide against women. Additionally, about 36.9% of women in Brazil have experienced physical or sexual violence from their intimate partners, further exacerbating safety concerns.
Russia claims the third spot due to its high rate of intentional homicide against women, ranking second globally. Moreover, it’s among the top ten countries with legal restrictions hindering women’s participation in societal and economic spheres.
Mexico ranks fourth overall for its alarming rates of violence against women, with only around 33% feeling safe walking alone at night. Non-partner sexual violence is prevalent, affecting approximately 16% of women, further contributing to its reputation as a perilous destination for female travelers.
Iran’s placement on the list is primarily attributed to its significant gender gap, where disparities between gender persist in economic participation, education, health, and political empowerment. Legal discrimination against women and a high global gender gap index further underscore Iran’s challenges for female travelers.
6. Dominican Republic
With only 33% of women feeling safe walking alone at night, the Dominican Republic ranks fifth-lowest in this category. Additionally, it struggles with high rates of intentional homicide against women and significant gender inequality, particularly concerning health, empowerment, and the labor market.
Egypt secures the seventh spot with its notable global gender gap and gender inequality rankings. Less than half of women feel safe walking alone at night, while legal restrictions impede women’s full participation in society and the economy.
Morocco’s high prevalence of intimate partner violence, where about 45% of women experience physical or sexual violence, places it as the eighth-most dangerous country for female travelers. Furthermore, a significant portion of Moroccan women justify violence against women under certain circumstances, reflecting deep-rooted societal attitudes.
India ranks fifth for intimate partner violence, affecting over 37% of women, and tops the gender inequality index. Shockingly, nearly half of Indian women believe that violence by a husband or partner can be justified, highlighting pervasive cultural norms that endanger women’s safety.
See also: 10 Curious Scandals of Indian Swamis
Rounding up the top ten is Thailand, known for its vibrant tourism scene. However, it also grapples with high rates of intimate partner violence and alarming societal attitudes towards violence against women, with over 60% of women agreeing that such violence can be justified under certain circumstances.
While these countries present significant challenges for female travelers, it’s essential to emphasize that safety precautions and awareness can mitigate risks. Researching destinations, staying informed about local customs and laws, and opting for reputable accommodations can enhance the travel experience.
Additionally, seeking guidance from travel advisories and connecting with fellow travelers or local women’s groups can provide valuable insights and support. By prioritizing safety and empowerment, women can continue to explore the world with confidence and resilience.
On the contrary, the safest countries for women travelers in 2024 include Spain, Singapore, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Portugal, Croatia, Canada, and Poland, offering peace of mind and enriching experiences for female adventurers.