This title is self-explanatory: here are our bottom 5 countries to be a solo female traveller. To be fair, I tried to exclude from the list all countries that are not safe for either male or female travelers (such as countries in the state of war or with extremely high crime rates), as well as attempted to include countries from different parts of the world, religions and traditions. Again, there are official ratings like this http://www.trust.org/item/?map=poll-canada-best-g20-country-to-be-a-woman-india-worst/ that show the best and worst countries for women to live in. Some countries might be horrible for living, but still great for visiting.
As a solo female traveller you will constantly watch your back in:
It is not just the glossy Western magazines and TV that give Ethiopian men the wrong picture of what foreign women want. In Ethiopian tradition, cheating on your partner is considered normal, and many times on public transport I was offered to ‘have one husband there and one husband here’. Wearing a ‘wedding ring’ does not help here, and you can generally be sure that 90% of men who start talking to you in the street either want your money or your special attention. It does not mean that you can trust nobody. Ethiopians are very proud of their country, and if you point out that Ethiopia’s reputation suffers immensely because of its men’s behavior, guys may turn to your side to defend the honor of their country. And the country is indeed really marvelous.
Despite its ever-growing popularity among backpackers and solo female travelers, India remains quite unsafe, and girls should always watch their back, choose carefully who they trust and spend some extra money on safety precautions: accommodation, transport, etc. In the recent years, there have been more reports of harassment and several rape cases, especially in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
I once met a girl who cycled alone all the way from South Africa to Egypt. Egypt was the first place where she faced sexual harassment, constant grabbing and chasing. Asian-looking women face these problems even more so, because they are seen as more ‘exotic’. During the social unrest in Egypt, starting from 2011, a lot of local women and foreign female journalists went on Tahrir square to take part in demonstrations, despite the fact that any crowded place means more grabbing and cat-calling, and public raping became a frequent occurrence in that time. Rape is the most common crime in Egypt, and boys get used to cat-calling women in the street since early years. Egyptian women normally do not report rape or harassment cases because of shame and distrust towards the police. At all costs avoid Cairo metro at rush hour.
Brazil will bring you a lot of nice memories and fun times, but the culture of machismo still largely prevails here, not to mention the crime rates in Rio and other big cities. Keep an eye on your belongings and never walk alone at night time – which is a good rule to follow in any place and any country.
Like their Hindu brothers, Pakistani men form a largely male-dominating society, where in strict religious families girls and boys grow in separate parts of the house. As a girl traveling alone, even wearing appropriate clothes, you will be grabbed a lot on public transport and constantly stared and whistled at. In the North, people belong to the Ismaili sect, the most liberal branch of Islam, and women’s rights are more respected here.