Is India Safe for Women?
Here is another question capable of testing your nationalism, neutrality, and candor. Is India safe for women? The massive country of 1.3 billion inhabitants with an ancient culture and rapidly changing attitudes has a lot of the world’s most fascinating destinations. Nevertheless, is the country that safe for women travelers and tourists?
How safe is India for females? Two decades ago, the question of the safety of women in India wasn’t as topical as it is today. But India, like many other populous countries in the world, is rapidly experiencing changing cultures. These changes are causing tensions and confusion in societies making traveling to India dreadful for visitors and tourists. So is India safe for such women travelers?
In December 2012, the horrific gang rape and murder of a young Indian woman that made headlines around the world changed the narrative for India. The country erupted in anger and that marked a paradigm shift. Since then, the phrase “Eve teasing” began to describe more accurately all actions that can be described as sexual harassment.
The media onslaught that followed which provoked several countries to issue advisories about traveling to India raised a BIG question about the safety of women in India, the country the media tag the “rape capital of the world.”
In June 2018, the Thomson Reuters Foundation conducted a survey engaging about 550 experts on women’s issues. The study concluded that India is the world’s most dangerous country for women.
Since then, the U.K. and the U.S. have issued several travel advisories for India. Women are especially advised to exercise caution if they must visit the country. Examples of the contents of such advisory are warnings about rape being among the fastest growing crimes in India alongside crime and terrorism. The advisories also warned against violent crimes, such as sexual assault occurring in tourist sites and cities such as Jammu and Kashmir on the India-Pakistan border. The U.S. Department of State also listed as high-risk areas for crime and terrorism the Northeastern states together with Central and East India.
Popular tourist destinations in North India, such as Agra, Delhi, and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, are places where harassment is most common. Women travelers are at the greatest risk in Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra. The incessant harassment of foreign and local women in this region gave birth to the widely-reported assault of two Swiss female tourists in 2017.
However, it’s not all women in India, and certainly not the majority of female travelers and tourists that will fall victims to these crimes. However, not all female travelers are most certainly going to be starred. Even women would also do the same to female travelers because of their Western attire. One of the best places recommended for solo female travelers in India as the starting point is Tamil Nadu in southeastern India. Another safe part of India for women is the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai which has a reputation for safety. Worthy of mention also are the Delhi Metro and Mumbai Local trains that have compartments for women only where females can feel more comfortable sitting and avoid being stared at.
What are your thoughts about women traveling to India? Is it safe for them? Please let us know in the comment section below.