Travelling solo is something a lot of adventure-seekers aspire to do, however, a lot are unaware of the dangers they face when visiting places independently.
While more and more women are exploring the world solo, the trope that women shouldn’t travel alone still lives on in many circles. But there is no reason to let this myth hold travellers back- although it would also be a mistake to assume that travel is 100% safe. In either case, too many travellers – solo females included – are tempted to make decisions based on anecdotal stories, overhyped media coverage, or stereotypes about other cultures.

In an effort to understand and quantify the things that truly affect women while travelling, a travel duo named Asher & Lyric gathered data on the world’s top fifty most-visited countries and created the Women’s Danger Index. This is how they determined that Spain is the safest country for solo female travellers. In fact, it scored well far ahead of the next safest countries to travel;  Singapore and Ireland.

The Women’s Danger Index

The Women’s Danger Index uses eight criteria to determine where solo female travellers are likely to be the safest, and Spain rated very well on six of the criteria.

The two most important factors in the Index are the percentage of women who feel safe walking alone at night and the number of female victims of intentional homicide (per 100,000 people). On both of these key criteria, Spain rated very well, earning a green score of 0-25.

According to statistics,  just 10-percent of women agreed that beating a female partner in justified circumstances is acceptable which is among the lowest of any country. Sadly, there are several countries that over seventy percent of women agreed with this statement. The percentage of women who have experienced non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime is also exceedingly low in Spain, at just three percent. The occurrence of intimate partner violence is slightly higher, as denoted by its yellow score of 25-50, although only four countries earned a green score in this category. Since tourists are generally more concerned about non-partner violence, female travellers can still feel confident that their risk of sexual violence in Spain is extremely low.

Lastly, the Index considers three aggregate scores, which have been calculated by other sources. The legal discrimination score measures laws and regulations that limit women or differentiate by gender. The gender inequality index compares how men and women fare on factors related to health, empowerment, and the labor market. Spain scored well on both of these indices.

The global gender gap is the third aggregate score and it measures a variety of disparities between men and women. This final factor is where Spain fared the worst, and it’s the only one on which it earned an orange score of 50-75. Like the measure of intimate partner violence, this is another category that no country scored particularly well in. It shows how no countries earned green scores and just three earned yellow, so Spain still ranks highly on the list.

The study gathered information based on 50 most-visited destinations around the world and shows countries ranked on their level of danger based on many other criteria, such as whether women are safe at walking at night or legal discrimination.

The countries considered in the ranking are the 50 most visited countries around the world, so each continent is represented well.
Each country is given a “Danger Grade” for each of the eight considerations and then ranked overall.

The eight key criteria are:

  1. Non-partner sexual violence
  2. Intimate partner violence
  3. Legal discrimination
  4. Intentional homicide of women
  5. Violence against women attitudes
  6. Safe to walk alone at night?
  7. Global gender gap
  8. Gender equality

The ranking below shows that South Africa is considered to be the most dangerous place for a woman to travel alone
It’s quite interesting to mention that the top five most dangerous countries for women to travel come from different continents.

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Images by Hannelore Oberbauer and


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