There are many concerns these days if is it safe for women traveling to India. India has seen declining rates of female tourists in the wake of high-profile attacks on female travelers and women across the country in general.
It´s sad to say that roughly 92 women are raped each day in India and about 79 % of women said they have experienced a kind of street harassment and violence. In July, a female traveler from Israel was sexually assaulted in the Himalayan resort town of Manali, while a Japanese tourist and a Russian girl also reported attacks in recent years.
The UK´s Foreign Office has also warned its female citizens traveling India to respect local dress codes and customs and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, when alone at any time of day.
While women can ultimately wear whatever they want, they should take precaution while going out at night.
But even more than any sexual harassment, the lack of infrastructure, including bright lights on lonely roads and a lack of hygienic sanitation facilities, makes traveling as a woman more difficult in India.
Our travel tips for women:
#1 A backpack and camera make you look like a traveler and can often get you a lot of undesirable attention. Don’t ask strangers for advice or directions, and don´t refer to maps in public places. You better jump into the next restaurant to look up the map.
#2 If you’re visiting the local attractions and marketplaces aim for the family-friendly early evening hours.
#3 To avoid nasty surprises when traveling alone, book a place to stay in advance for at least a day to get a feel of the place. You better learn which parts are safe, and how to find your way around.
#4 Get to your travel destination while it’s still bright outside. If you cant spend the extra money for a taxi, and you can always ask a police officer for help.
#5 It doesn´t hurt to fortify your backpack with an industrial-power pepper spray, but use the spray only when there is no risk of it being turned on you.
So is it safe to travel to India alone as a female traveler? Rude comments, voyeurism, and or groping women are all common in India. While travel in India specially for women will require heightened attention and common sense, it is still worth it.