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Women travel for countless reasons, whether to discover new frontiers, pursue business opportunities, or simply to rest and relax — not unlike men. The truth is that women face greater obstacles, especially when travelling alone. The Government of Canada assists thousands of Canadian women in distress abroad each year.
The problems they face are diverse. Petty and violent crime, culture shock, poor sanitation, the dangers and disappointments of international cyber-dating — the challenges are many. But so are the benefits. With careful planning, common sense, and respect for religious and societal differences, you can minimize your risks and maximize your chances of having a safe and successful trip.
The Government of Canada has developed this booklet to help inform and prepare you before you leave Canada. The booklet offers a preventive, female-friendly approach to tackling the security, cultural, health, and social concerns of women travellers.
It should be read as a close companion to the safe-travel booklet Bon voyage, but If you doubt you can put up with the challenges and hazards of a particular country, strike it off your list. A risk assessment should address your concerns as a female traveller, including safety and security, health conditions, the political and economic environment, local laws, customs, and cultural norms — including the role of women — in your potential host country.
For example, some countries employ strict interpretations of Sharia, or Islamic law, which may have an impact on the rights and obligations of women. Based on your research, develop a risk-management strategy outlining hazards you should be aware of and precautions you can take. Careful preparation is your key to safe and successful travel. Before leaving Canada:. Always travel light, if possible, to protect yourself against loss or theft of money and valuables. Taking precautions is your best defence against becoming a victim.
Travelling solo has its benefits. You get to set your own pace, have more direct contact with foreign cultures, and meet new friends more easily. But a lone female traveller may also face unwanted attention or overwhelming obstacles in some parts of the world. For example, in countries that employ a strict interpretation of Sharia law, women may not be allowed to drive cars, travel alone, or even go out in public without a male relative or a group of other women. When travelling on your own, be sure to follow these safety measures:. Take the following steps if you become the victim of robbery, sexual assault, or other violent crime while abroad:.
If you experience problems abroad, remember that Global Affairs Canada is ready to help — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For emergency help during office hours, contact the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate. While there are limits to consular assistance, some services available to women travellers include:.
While abroad, you may find it difficult to get used to losing rights and privileges taken for granted in Canada. Expectations of women in certain cultures may seem offensive and unjust. Among the challenges women may face are a lack of access to female physicians, discriminatory treatment by local officials, and sex segregation in some countries where men and women must sit apart on public transport and use gender-specific hospitals. The normal and acceptable treatment of women varies widely from culture to culture.
Canadian women are often uncomfortable with the conduct of local men in some countries, where whistling, hissing, catcalls, leering, stalking, voyeurism, groping, pinching, and indiscreet comments are not considered harassment but acceptable forms of male attention. Partly due to the widespread misconception that Western women are flirtatious and promiscuous, a Canadian female may be seen as fair game, particularly if she looks different from the local women and is travelling alone. The following strategies will help you deal with sexual harassment. Many people experience feelings of dislocation and unease while abroad, particularly during extended contact with a foreign culture.
The impacts of culture shock range from mild irritability to a severe sense of alienation, which could affect your mental health. One of the best survival strategies is to make a conscious effort to feel more at home in your new surroundings. The rules of dressing for success vary hugely from culture to culture. Defying these customs may be strictly forbidden in some societies and put you at risk. In Saudi Arabia, a woman must wear an abaya a long black cloak that covers the body from the shoulders to the toes.
A scarf should be carried at all times to cover the head when requested. In addition, a woman is not allowed to drive a motor vehicle or ride a bicycle. She must have a male driver. Consult our travelling with children fact sheet including a consent letter template and the children and travel section of our website. While abroad, a foreign affair with a fairytale ending may be more than a flight of the imagination, but it may also be fraught with danger and disappointment. Consular Services frequently assists Canadian women who experience problems in overseas relationships, ranging from cyber-dating scams to domestic abuse to child custody disputes.
You and your partner may be refused entry into a foreign country if you present yourselves as a same-sex couple. Moreover, homosexual or lesbian activity is a criminal offence in certain countries, and the threat of discrimination or punishment could affect your activities. Women romantically involved with I am seeking a woman that is looking for travel suitors are sometimes victims of crime or fraud. Some women who travel to meet possible partners have even been kidnapped and held for ransom. Certain would-be immigrants consider marriage to a Canadian citizen to be their ticket to a Canadian visa.
They typically bolt when they arrive on our shores. Such scams have nothing to do with romance and everything to do with taking advantage of vulnerable women. By now, you know that international travel means not only rewards but also risks. Still, we trust that this booklet will broaden, not limit, your spirit of adventure.
With increased awareness, thorough preparation, and a measure of caution, you can travel almost anywhere bravely and responsibly. May your path be safe, your burden light, and the benefits of your journey bountiful! Consular Services website www. General Tel. Emergencies Tel. Alcohol, Drugs and Travel Visit our on alcohol, drugs and travel. Publications free Access our smart-travel publications or order them by calling in Canada or Travel Advice and Advisories Our Ttravel advice and advisories provide vital information on safety and security, local laws and customs, health conditions, and entry requirements for approximately travel destinations.
This information is also available by phone: in Canada and the U. Diplomatic Offices Canadian government offices abroad. Published by Global Affairs Canada Information in this publication is readily available for personal and public non-commercial use and may be reproduced, in part or in whole and by any means, without charge or further permission from Global Affairs Canada.
We ask only that:. Global Affairs Canada makes all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information contained in this publication is accurate. The reader is also encouraged to supplement this information with independent research and professional advice. This publication is available in alternative formats upon request.
We would like to receive your comments on this publication. Write to us at the address above or e-mail us at travel international.
You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, please. Introduction Women travel for countless reasons, whether to discover new frontiers, pursue business opportunities, or simply to rest and relax — not unlike men. We wish you a joyful and trouble-free journey! Supplement these resources with travel books, newsletters, magazines, and websites just for women travellers. They offer a comprehensive view of the health, safety, cultural, and emotional issues experienced by women on the road. Plan ahead Careful preparation is your key to safe and successful travel. Before leaving Canada: Read the safe-travel booklet Bon voyage, but Obtain a valid Canadian passport and an appropriate visa for every country on your itinerary.
Understand the terms of each visa, as you could be arrested for violating visa conditions in some countries. As a precaution against loss or theft, leave copies of important travel documents with family or friends in Canada.I am seeking a woman that is looking for travel
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