Cape Town - With Women's Month around the corner, we're all for the independent solo-traveller and those brave, adventurous women who explore the globe.
But not all countries are inviting to people of various backgrounds and identities, and travellers need to take note of this before planning their global escapes.
A lifestyle website, Sarcasm.co, shared 10 places around the world that women need to be wary of as these can be dangerous destinations for female travellers, especially if they are travelling alone.
South Africa did not make the list and continues to be warm and welcoming to people of all identities, but surprisingly four African countries made the top 10 most dangerous places for women to travel to, including the DRC, Somalia, Egypt and shockingly even Kenya.
Check out the top 10 dangerous countries for women:
According to Sarcasm.co, this is "probably the most dangerous country" as it has the highest rate of acid attacks on women, and in 2015 alone, there were around 45,000 cases of domestic violence against women reported. Women travellers to Colombia should refrain from visiting the country alone - it's best to explore the country with an established tour group or go with a group of friends.
A majority of females in this country are illiterate with many females, between the ages of 15 to 19 years old, forced into early marriage. The middle-eastern country has high domestic violence cases and maternal mortality.
When travelling to countries in the middle east, women are advised to be considerate of the laws around the dress-code and behaviour in public. Failure to respect these laws and customs could result in female travellers receiving fines and even imprisonment.
India has the world’s largest population but still, it’s not safe for women due to high rates of gang rapes, domestic violence and human trafficking and female infanticides. "As per the stats, there are more than 50 million cases of female infanticide in last 30 years".
The Democratic Republic of Congo
According to research Congo has the worst records of gender-based violence. "Around 1,150 females are raped every day". Travellers are advised to take health and safety precautions in the DRC, as health facilities are minimal too.
Sexual harassment, high maternal mortality, child marriage and female genital mutilation are some of the common occurrences in Somalia. Many women travel to Somalia for relief efforts and are advised to ensure that necessary safety measures are in place before doing so.
Early age and forced marriage, acid attacks and punishment by stoning are the main concern of this country for females. It has been reported that females are also victims of "honour killings" and a majority face domestic violence.
A surprising entry on the list is Kenya. Even with a high rate of agricultural production, women in Kenya earn a measly income and education for females is minimal, resulting in inequalities and crimes against women.
Kenya is making developments in infrastructure and tourism offerings however, so women travellers to Kenya are encouraged to visit but to always ensure the necessary safety measures are in place if they decide to go on a solo-travel adventure.
Sexual assault and murder of women are high on Brazil's list of crimes. "Females are not allowed to make a reproductive choice as its criminal code bans abortions except in cases of rape, or where it is physically dangerous to have the baby. Women who go against and have an abortion can be jailed for 3 years," says the report.
While Brazil has a high crime rate and was recently swept by the Zika outbreak, it is a beautiful country and on many travel bucket-lists. Travellers are advised to explore this country but to always ensure medical and physical safety.
Travellers to Egypt are warned to take caution as sexual assault and harassment have been commonly reported, even by the country's visitors. According to the report, "females are ignored when it comes to their rights to marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance."
Egypt, however, continues to be a must-see travel destination in Africa due to the Pyramids of Giza and other historic attractions. While we encourage #AfriTravel and the exploration of the world's landmarks, we do advise women to be cautious of their safety when in places that inhibit their rights.
Women are not well-protected legally against domestic and sexual violence, so female travellers to this country must be careful if travelling alone to Mexico. The Zika virus outbreak also occurred in Mexico, and female travellers are advised to continue to take caution when travelling here, especially if they are pregnant or trying to fall pregnant.
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