Women are travelling solo now more than ever and while they should be allowed to travel freely and do anything their male counterparts would, there are some places that are particularly dangerous for women.
A recent poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation asked experts in women’s issues which of the world’s mega cities are safe for women and which need to do more to ensure women are safe from sexual violence, harassment and harmful cultural practices.
To reach these results, the poll also took into consideration access to healthcare and economic opportunities.
Cairo was identified as the most dangerous mega city for women, where, according to the not-for-profit organisation Stop Street Harassment, 99 per cent of Egyptian women have experienced some kind of sexual harassment.
The Egyptian capital fared worst when it came to harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage as well. It was named the third worst for sexual harassment and violence after Delhi and Sao Paulo.
Kinshasa and Karachi were a tied second on the list of the most dangerous mega cities for women. Kinshasa was the worst when it came to women access to economic resources such as education and land ownership, as well as health care. In Karachi, it was ranked the second worst in the world, with women at risk of harmful cultural practices and having poor access to healthcare and economic resources.
See the full list of the world’s most dangerous megacities for women below.
1. Cairo, Egypt
2. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Karachi, Pakistan
4. Delhi, India
5. Lima, Peru
6. Mexico City, Mexico
7. Dhaka, Bangladesh
8. Lagos, Nigeria
9. Jakarta, Indonesia
10. Istanbul, Turkey
11. Sao Paulo, Brazil
12. Buenos Aires, Argentina
13. New York, USA
14. Manila, Philippines
15. Shanghai, China
16. Moscow, Russia
17. Paris, France
18. Tokyo, Japan
19. London, England
London was named the best mega city out of the countries examined, coming in the top two for women out of four categories – good access to healthcare and access to economic resources.
If you are a female traveller, here are some tips for staying safe overseas.
- Be wary of common travel scams and overly friendly locals
- Avoid travelling alone at night, but if you have to, walk close to other people
- Trust your gut instinct – if something doesn't feel right, try and remove yourself from the situation calmly and quickly
- Stay aware and alert
- Stay connected to friends and family and register with Smart Travellerbefore you go.