A study of the world’s most dangerous countries for women traveling alone reveals the good, the bad and the ugly
There’s hearsay. There are personal anecdotes from other travelers. There are specific worries. Then, there are the hard facts. We’ve gathered data from a variety of trusted international sources to create a “Women’s Danger Index” that will help you find the worst (and safest) countries for solo female travel.
At the end of the article we also have 42 tips on how women can stay safe while traveling alone.
Ranking the top 50 countries with the most international tourists by a grand total of eight different factors, our “Women’s Danger Index” was compiled using the following data sources:
Gallup World Poll (2018): Percentage of women who feel safe walking alone at night = 2 points
Equal Measures 2030 (2018): Female victims of intentional homicide index = 2 points
UN Women (2016): Lifetime Non-Partner Sexual Violence = 1 point
Georgetown Institute (2017/2018): Lifetime Intimate Partner Violence = 1 point
Georgetown Institute (2017/2018): Legal Discrimination = 1 point
World Economic Forum (2017): Global Gender Gap = 1 point
UN Development Program (2017): Gender Inequity = 1 point
OECD (2018): Attitudes Toward Violence Against Women Survey = 1 point
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 good 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.
Charges brought in a case opened into the embezzlement of state funds allocated for the construction of fortifications, also known as Project Wall, along the border with Russia have been forwarded to the Darnytsky District Court of Kyiv. “Charges have been filed against three officials of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, three directors of contractor firms and two intermediaries. A total of eight people will go on trial,” the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine said on its Facebook page.
These persons are suspected of embezzling Ukrainian budget money allocated for efforts to equip the Russian-Ukrainian state border, territories adjoining the zone of the anti-terrorist operation in Donbas and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the post said.
Investigators have established that Ukrainian State Border Guard Service officials, acting in complicity and with the help of companies, misappropriated UAH 16.688 million (over $630,000) worth of budget funds.
Project Wall includes the construction of fortifications along the Russian-Ukrainian state border and in territories adjoining the area of the anti-terrorist operation in Donbas.
In February 2019, Ukrainian State Border Guard Service spokesman Oleh Slobodian estimated the readiness of Project Wall at around 30% at that time.
Ukraine increased imports of coal and anthracite coal (HS code 2701) by 9.9%, or 1.719 million tonnes, in January-November 2018 year-over-year, to 19.095 million tonnes. Coal shipments over the period under review were estimated at $2.693 billion, which was 10.8% more than in January-November 2017 ($2.431 billion), Ukraine’s State Fiscal Service said.
In particular, coal bought from the Russian Federation (61.91% of all imports) was estimated at $1.667 billion, from the United States (29.94%) at $806.349 million, Canada (4.78%) at $128.608 million, and other countries (3.37%) at $90.865 million.
In addition, Ukraine in January-November 2018 exported 63,617 tonnes of coal and anthracite to the tune of $8.627 million, including to Russia ($4.597 million), Slovakia ($3.201 million), Moldova ($0.715 million), and other countries ($0.114 million).
As reported, Ukraine plans in 2018 to increase import of steam coal by 11.3% compared to 2017, to 5.669 million tonnes.
In particular, it plans to buy 4.882 million tonnes of coal from Russia (a rise of 29.6% from 2017), 664,000 tonnes from the United States (a rise of 47.7%), and 123,000 tonnes from South Africa (a fall of 83.8%).
In 2011, Ukraine’s coal and anthracite imports totaled $2.761 billion and exports $775.109 million, in 2012: $2.637 billion and $609.392 million, respectively. These indicators in 2013 were $1.974 billion and $737.009 million, respectively, in 2014: $1.773 billion and $521.017 million, in 2015: $1.632 billion and $53.651 million, in 2016: $1.467 billion and $44.762 million, and in 2017: $2.744 billion and $105.494 million, respectively.
Chief Executive Officer of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy Kobolev has expressed fears that the Russian side will do everything to delay negotiations on the extension of the contract for gas transit through Ukraine, expecting possible changes in the country’s top officials and policy. “Most likely, they are waiting for elections in Ukraine and they want to see if there is any change in power and the country’s political course. They will do everything possible to launch the Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction,” Kobolev told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
Kobolev said Russians now express readiness to study the issue of moving to work within the framework of European legislation, but they are stalling and trying to introduce the issue of negotiating settlement agreements in a trilateral format.
“Until recently, Russians’ position was not constructive. Before the agreement on something under the transit contract, they want to talk about amicable deals within the Stockholm litigation, that is, raise questions that are unacceptable not only for us, but for any party , which won in court,” he said.
Kobolev expressed hope the third party of the negotiations represented by the European Commission would have an impact on Russia, since stalling the process is not advantageous to Ukraine and European consumers of Russian gas.
“As our experience shows, a force majeure signing at the end of 2019 would be a very bad story. I hope that the position of Europeans may lead to a change in the tactics of Russians and they will be forced to negotiate before the end of 2019 about a new format of relations from January 2020. We are working actively on this now. The European Commission is in agreement with us in the application of European law. If we agree on this as a basis, then all further actions become much easier and more effective,” Kobolev said.
Trilateral negotiations of the European Union, Russia, and Ukraine on Russian gas transit via Ukraine after 2019 may begin in early July, according to European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic. “Time is a precious commodity. I hope to start working with Russia and Ukraine on the trilateral gas agenda in early July,” he wrote on Twitter. “Complex negotiations ahead,” Sefcovic wrote. He said in late May that the objective of these negotiations will be to determine details of gas transit via Ukraine after 2019 and guarantees of such transit.
Moldova’s integration with the European Union is favored by 38% of the country’s citizens; with the Eurasian Economic Union, by 34%, according to the findings of a social survey unveiled by the Centre for Sociological Research of Moldova (CCSM) at a press conference on Friday. Another 22% said Moldova should unite with Romania, the pollster said. At the same time, more than half of respondents (54%) opposed Moldova’s accession to NATO, 24% backed the idea, and 22% were still undecided.
Asked who is Moldova’s best friend, 38% named Russia, 37% Romania, 8% Germany, 5% the United States, and 2% named Ukraine. Other countries were cited by a combined 10%.
At the top of a rating of trusted foreign leaders is Russian President Vladimir Putin (57%), followed by Romanian ex-president Traian Basescu (49%), Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko (34%), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (27%), Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili (17%), U.S. President Donald Trump (15%), Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (10%) and French President Emmanuel Macron (9%).
The survey was conducted among 750 respondents in Chisinau on April-30 – May 8. The margin of error is 3%.