A new study says South Africa is the most dangerous country for solo female travelers while Spain is the safest.
The study focused on eight factors, giving points to countries with low scores. Life golf, the lower score wins (poll source/year in parentheses):
- Safe to walk alone at night? = 2 points (Gallup World Poll - 2018)
- Intentional homicide of women = 2 points (Equal Measures 2030 - 2018)
- Non-partner sexual violence = 1 point (UN Women - 2016)
- Intimate partner violence = 1 point (Georgetown Institute - 2017/2018)
- Legal discrimination = 1 point (Georgetown Institute - 2017/2018)
- Global gender gap = 1 point (World Economic Forum - 2017)
- Gender inequality index = 1 point (UN Development Program - 2017)
- Violence against women attitudes = 1 point (OECD 2018)
The United States of America is the 19th worst country in the world for solo female travelers, according to the results.
Researchers about USA's ranking:
Ranking 19th on our list was the USA. This makes it the most dangerous Western country in the world which was very unexpected! Scoring badly on street safety, non-partner sexual violence and a host of gender inequality issues makes the United States particularly bad for female travelers. For women aged between 20 and 24, homicide is the 3rd most likely way to die which accounts for a staggering 7.5% of all deaths in this age group. And for black females in the same age group, homicide is responsible for a whopping 15.7% of deaths!
There are much more dangerous places in the world, but this study, done by popular travel website Asher & Lyric, limited its scope to the top 50 most visited tourist destinations worldwide.
You can see more details in an infographic below.
TOP 50 WORST COUNTRIES FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS
- South Africa
- Dominican Republic
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
From Asher & Lyric (the researchers):
To measure safety abroad, one cannot look at only data on street safety, rape or violence. It also depends on the general attitude of the culture, minutiae of the legal system, and systematic oppression of local women. These issues can affect everything, from easily getting a taxi alone to having your voice be heard in a conversation to even needing a male escort for your personal safety. A lot on our list, such as attitudes toward partner violence, may not affect solo female travelers directly, but these factors are a good indication of overall attitudes within the culture.
Sadly, not one country received an “A” which indicates we have a long way to go before there is true equality between men and women on Earth. Thankfully, there are many signs that things are improving and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Please note: We gave both the “percentage of women who feel safe walking alone at night” and the “female victims of intentional homicide index” a double weighting score because they are very the best indicators of safety for foreign female travelers and are more likely to be highly accurate since it isn’t “shameful” to admit. Whereas, non-partner and intimate partner sexual violence are obviously strong indicators for rape but the seriously widespread underreporting (to differing degrees per country) makes it hard to justify double weight because it could skew the results more than is fair.