As a female traveler, what are the factors you look into before calling a particular country “safe?” Is it how safe you feel when walking alone at night from a part or pub crawl? Is it gender equality and how the locals view women as part of their society? Or, perhaps, is it a country’s laws on human rights in general?
Whatever it is, you’ve probably experienced a brush of discomfort or worry while traveling at some point to be considering the level of safety of a place before deciding to visit or return to it.
In the most recent Women’s Danger Index by journalists Asher and Lyric Ferguson—a husband-and-wife tandem who also happen to keep a blog on travel safety—50 countries with the most international tourists were ranked based on their safety, using the following factors: street safety for women, intentional homicide of women, non-partner sexual violence, intimate partner violence, legal discrimination, global gender gap, gender inequality index and violence against women attitudes.
Landing on the top spot of the Women’s Danger Index is South Africa, which, based on the study, is the worst country for violence against women by non-partners, intentional homicides of women, and safety when walking alone after dark.
Meanwhile, Spain emerged as the safest country for female adventure-seekers. Here, we take a glance into the five safest places for women travelers based on the Women’s Danger Index:
Sun-laden España known for its rich history and culture is the second most-visited destination in the world (just trailing behind France). It ranks high in street safety, has low legal discrimination as well as in violence against women. A country perfect for food-tripping (tapas and wine, anyone?), admiring impeccable art and design (how about a Gaudi tour in Barcelona?), and vibrant festivals such as La Tomatina and Las Fallas, Spain truly is a destination that deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.
The small island country that is Singapore is big on safety. In fact, based on the index, it is the safest Asian country for women to visit, scoring high in more than half of the factors, with 92% of women claiming that they feel safe when walking alone at night. A dynamic destination where the old and new seamlessly coexist, Singapore packs in all the surprises despite its size. Among its top attractions are Gardens by the Bay, Universal Studios Singapore, and even Changi Airport—which, by the way, is consistently proclaimed the best airport in the world!
Ireland ranking as the third safest country is not something you can account to the luck of the Irish. The country just really is among the safest in the world thanks to its low levels of legal discrimination, gender inequality, violence against women, and non-partner sexual violence. A breathtaking destination with laid-back cities, bucolic countrysides and idyllic coastal areas, and jovial drinking culture, Ireland is a definite must-visit!
The study reveals that Austria has some of the lowest levels of sexual violence and gender inequality among the countries reviewed. A nation teeming with music, architecture, art, and fantastic natural landscapes, Austria makes for the ultimate culture trip destination.
When it comes to ranking the best of the best, expect to see Switzerland on the list at some point. And in this index, the country ranks as the fifth-safest destination for female travelers in the world. The land of the alps and delicious chocolate performed extremely well with street safety and low levels of intentional homicide against women. On your visit, don’t miss the opportunity to take a scenic train ride that will treat you to fantastic vistas of mountains, valleys, and blue skies.
Traveling solo for the first time? Jet-setting women have got some tips for you!
*Featured image via Alliance Images on Shutterstock