Equality between men and women is still not found anywhere in the world. But in some countries this gap is bigger than anywhere. Being a female solo traveler people are often surprised that a young woman can travel alone to a country such as India. For me this is a no brainer, just be careful and mindful of your actions. Because if we let our preconceptions and fears rule us we will never fight for change or even simply lead the lives we wish to lead.
But I can imagine that my experiences are completely different from what a male traveler might experience. And, of course, we are different genders, so our experiences will always be different and we shouldn’t strive to be the same, we should strive to be equal. But sometimes I wondered what would happen if I could travel as ‘careless’ as my male friends.
Although i have never felt unsafe in India, whether being alone or with friends, there was one moment that stood out for me.
While walking in the streets of Old Delhi with two female friends we stopped for a minute to buy some flowers. While me and my friend were waiting and standing still on the streets all eyes were on us. As we were standing my friend pointed out that there were some men pleasing themselves while staring at us. Really. In broad daylight these men saw three white women in the streets and thought there actions were completely normal.
Yet, even in that moment I did not feel unsafe, but I felt sorry for these men in this situation. These men were obviously homeless and dehumanised in society. And that might be the reason why I felt compassion for them in this situation. I do not approve, but I understand that in this particular situation it was about more than female inequality it was about human inequality. Which is, of course, a whole different issue.
Stand up for equality and take a look at HeforShe an organisation that focusses on uniting everyone to stand together for gender equality. And if you would like to help out and donate to a cause that is fighting for the rights of girls around the world, then go to Because I am a girl.