My Latest for Matador Network: Travel safety is not a gendered issue


I wanted to respond, in my own way, to the recent controversy surrounding the recent death of Sarai Sierra and the influx of women’s travel articles floating around the internet. For a long time, I’ve been fighting within myself on this issue of “safety” while traveling, and why I get so upset when I see articles aimed specifically at women. I am a woman. I want to be safe. But why do we need to justify this concept through gender-specific articles? Why do we need to prove that women are just as capable of traveling on their own, as men? Why can’t we just do it and be happy?

So I wrote this article.

Safety while traveling alone is not, and should not ever be, a gender-specific issue. Travel safety is relevant to us all.

What my article is NOT about: trying to state that women travellers do not encounter any type of danger or unsafe situations while traveling abroad. We do. We absolutely do. And it needs to be talked about.

What my article TRIES TO CONVEY: That women are not the only demographic that needs to practice safe travel abroad, or the only gender that encounters trouble while away. We focus on women because we receive such opposition as travellers, but the world needs to know that it is not our gender that is the issue: safety is something that affects all kinds of people, not just us.

If you are a woman, you know how difficult certain areas of the world can be regarding our sex. The point I try to make however, is that we should never limit our travel experiences based on the kind of person we are. Man. Woman. Gay. Straight. Transgendered. Black. White. Young. Old. If you’ve traveled somewhere and received opposition from locals or other travellers based on your race, sex, age, etc., do you choose not to return because you are a woman, or because you had a bad experience?

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Would love to hear what fellow travellers think about this issue.

Travel safety is not a gendered issue


  1. Coleen
    Feb 13, 2013

    It’s all well and good to say that travelers should not limit themselves based on what kind of person they are, but it is a little naive to assume that the places we reach will be so understanding. The concept of gender and the ways it is to be expressed are so complex, and in many places radically different from those of you or I.

    Travel safety can be a gendered issue.

    • Katka
      Feb 14, 2013

      But would you ever purposely not go to a place based on your gender? People run into trouble regardless of who they are. I see a lot of articles dedicated to safety precautions for women travellers but no one likes to comment on male travel safety, travel based on ethnicity, even LGBT travel safety articles are very limited compared to the sheer number of ones advertised for females.

      I’m not trying to deny the existence of safety issues in relation to gender. I’m just tired of the focus being on women, when there are other types of people in this world that also need to be safe while traveling. Women travel, sometimes it’s safe and sometimes its not. I don’t think we need to prove that to anyone because the odds are just as good for any other type of person traveling.

  2. Payday loans
    Feb 20, 2013

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    • Sara
      Mar 11, 2013

      That’s a quick-witted answer to a dficfilut question

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