Many females are always a little or hesitant about travelling to different places by themselves. Trust me I understand the fear, especially if you are traveling to a nation where woman are not treated to the same degree of men. This weekend I took a trip with another woman who is around the same age as me (23) and also about the same height (5’2″). We both consider ourselves to be very smart travels that like to enjoy spontaneous activities and meet new people. However this was the first time while I was travelling that I felt held back because of my gender.
We were staying at a weekend getaway place just outside of Accra, we were lucky enough to be sleeping in a small little hut about a 5 min walk from the beach. This resort attracted all sorts of people including expats, locals from accra and locals from the down we were in. We had met various people from Ghana, Germany, England, Ireland, Nigeria and Ivory coast. We spent most of the day on the beach but as we talked to more people we were warned about walking in one direction on the beach for too long, we were told that many people have been robbed down there. We took there word for it and stayed in the one area.
As night fell we had made many friends and we had an invitation to go to the beach for a campfire. Without even talking about it we both looked at each-other and knew that we did not feel comfortable going to the beach at night. First off it was pretty much all males going, we did not know what side of the beach the fire would be on and we had just met this assorted group of people. When we politely declined, but one guy made a bit of a scene about it, he said that “it’s cause I’m black right, you don’t trust me”. This was not a at relevant. We then had an expat ask a little obnoxiously “is it cause you are scared?”. He looked at us like we believed all of the crazy african stereotypes. It was more about there gender then where they came from. People were starting to judge and think that we were racist stereotypical white people. I tried to explain to them that it has nothing to do with them as an individual but being female travellers we have to calculate the risk and it does not seem worth it. You could tell by there faces that they did not understand and that there were judging us for not jumping to their party.
This was very difficult for me because I do not consider myself to be “stuck up” and I did not like being perceived that way. In reality I would not be going on a beach with a group of males that I just met even in Canada. But would I of been more inclined to go if I was with a male traveller instead of a female traveller?