Canada eighth safest country for women to travel solo: study

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The Toronto skyline is shown on June 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

According to a travel study in more than 30 countries, Canada ranks as the 8th safest country for women to travel alone this summer.

Bounce, a luggage storage company, examined data on various aspects of gender equality and women’s safety, including domestic violence laws, homicide rates and how safe women feel walking around their country at night, to compile a ranking this month.

According to the list, Ireland is the safest country for women traveling alone, with Austria, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland rounding out the top 5.

“The Emerald Isle scores particularly well for the laws it has in place to protect women from violence, as well as local attitudes towards violence against women,” says the study of Ireland’s front runner.

Spain took sixth place, followed by Portugal, Canada, the Netherlands and Poland to round out the top 10.

Canada scored 6.67 out of 10 for its overall safety for women traveling alone, compared to Ireland’s 7.88.

Colombia was considered the least safe of the 34 countries included for women traveling alone. But the United States has barely topped it, coming in at number 32 on the list, just above Costa Rica.

The rating was based on seven different measurements, including the percentage of women in this country who reported experiencing violence, the number of female murder victims per 100,000 women, the percentage of women who reported walking alone at night, the percentage of the women in this country who agree that a husband might be justified in being violent towards his wife and how strict the domestic violence laws are in this country.

It also included each country’s ranking in a general safety index compiled by Numbeo, a large database of user-contributed data, and the country’s ranking in the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Report.

All seven categories added up to an overall safety rating.

Canada ranked first in one of the individual categories, with the study finding that Canada had the lowest rate of reported domestic violence.

“In Canada, just 1.9 percent of women say they have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime, which is 20 times fewer than in the worst-performing country on the list,” the study said.

Canada also has the best domestic violence laws among more than 10 other countries, which “offer women protections from domestic violence without discriminating against women’s rights.”

Japan, ranked 11th on the list, and Norway had the lowest female homicide rates and Norway scored the highest for feeling safe walking around at night, while Ireland had the lowest rate of acceptance of violence against women, with just one percent of women doing so stated they believe that sometimes a man is entitled to hit his partner.

Most categories used data collected by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an organization that collects socio-economic data in its member countries for research and policy analysis. Almost 40 countries are part of the OECD, including Canada.

The percentage of women who feel safe at night comes from a specific 2021 OECD survey, while homicide data comes from the World Bank.