Choosing where to study abroad as an international student involves many considerations, from academic quality to cost of living. One important factor that is often overlooked is the level of safety and security, especially for female students. In some countries, issues like sexual harassment, domestic violence, and gender discrimination are still prevalent. Therefore, it is crucial to research how safe a potential destination is for women before deciding where to study.
In this post, we will explore the top 10 safest countries for women in the world, characteristics that make a country safe, major safety issues women face, and why safety should be a priority for international students. Having this knowledge can help prospective students make informed decisions about where to pursue their degrees.
Safest Countries for Women:
For international students, New Zealand tops rankings as the safest and most welcoming place for women. Kiwi culture enthusiastically promotes female empowerment whether in politics, business or daily life without discrimination. NZ pioneered suffrage rights for women and continues advancing equality globally. Under rigorous domestic violence laws, students can feel secure walking alone late nights after library sessions knowing first responders take harassment extremely seriously here.
Ireland rapidly ascended as a top choice for female students seeking fun student living balanced by strong women’s protections. While mostly progressive on gender rights, Ireland actively strengthened laws against sexual harassment and discrimination in recent years to promote safety. Specialized crisis support, housing assistance and leave rights aid survivor recovery too. Though some inequality persists across Irish society, international students find warm pub culture welcoming and increasing activism to drive positive change.
With its vocal #MeToo movement and powerful female leaders, Australia signals to female students that women’s safety holds importance nationally. Robust education campaigns tackle sexual harassment and violence while specialized police and courts aid survivors sensitively. While indigenous groups still suffer disproportionately, most international students benefit from public transport safety infrastructure and 24/7 hotlines to report problems. Australia still makes progress against sexism but global students can positively impact change too.
Canada appeals to global students hoping to study in an actively pro-feminist yet secure country. By directly investigating crimes against marginalized women, the government confronts systemic issues intersectionally. Broader equality policies ensure girls have healthcare access, mothers enjoy paid leave and survivors of violence receive crisis benefits. Remaining workplace discrimination concerns continue being actively tackled. Against this landscape, students can expect quality of life studying among forward-looking, justice-minded peers.
Despite its traditional reefs, the UK surged ahead on gender rights dialogue to address harassment and violence unambiguously. Ground-breaking education campaigns tackle toxic attitudes among male youths being fed dangerous tropes online. For students, strong laws now protect women against domestic abuse regarding housing, money and other needs during transition. However, nightlife scenes near UK campuses still require security caution as #MeToo gains momentum in calling out unaddressed matters.
The United States
Given recent abortion restrictions, the United States may not top safety wish lists but fares better than developing options. Students in progressive cities or states will find more robust women’s laws regarding domestic abuse, workplace violations and individual rights. However, racial disparities persist in handling missing persons and murders. Contradictory societal views also emerge between coastal and interior regions. Ultimately foreign students must research thoroughly when selecting suitable American study destinations.
What Makes a Country Safe for Women?
There are certain characteristics that help define how safe or equal a country is for women compared to others globally:
• Progressive laws punishing gender-based violence and workplace discrimination
• Active policies and initiatives promoting gender equality
• High participation of women in politics, business, and education
• Quality support services aiding survivors of abuse and assault
• Low overall rates of sexual harassment crimes and homicide against women
• High degree of personal freedom and safety for women in public spaces
Major Issues Making Countries Unsafe
Unfortunately, discrimination, violence, and restricted rights for women still plague many parts of the world. Some of the major issues making countries unsafe for women include:
• Weak laws against domestic abuse or marital rape
• Societal acceptance of violence against women
• Limited reproductive rights and healthcare access
• Gender inequality preventing workplace advancement
• High rates of sexual assault crimes not being reported or prosecuted
• Victim blaming attitudes when women experience harassment/abuse
• Lack of support services and shelters aiding abuse survivors
Overcoming these systemic issues requires legal reforms and changes in cultural attitudes toward women and their rights in society. Until more progress is made, these factors contribute to substantially lower safety for women in some regions.
Why Safety Matters for International Students
When deciding where to study, there are compelling reasons why international students should prioritize locations with higher safety standards and gender equality, such as:
• Avoiding culture shock adjusting to vastly different gender norms
• Preventing possibility of experiencing harassment or assault
• Access to support resources if abuse cases should occur
• Ability to freely navigate daily life without gender-related constraints
• Peace of mind for students and families back home
• Focusing fully on academics rather than safety concerns
Researching the most secure, progressive, and welcoming destinations for women globally can give prospective students confidence they made the best choice for their higher education goals and personal well-being.