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Countries women should avoid?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by dearlouise, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. dearlouise

    dearlouise New commenter

    I've been trying to research "life in..." for various jobs of interest. A lot of jobs are in the UAE. As a young-ish single female, I'm reading various reports on life for a woman - some quite negative. What's it really like? How could I find out?

    Also... Egypt?

    Or should I be looking elsewhere?
  2. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    True, there are horror stories. But the common factor involving alot of these negative experiences revolve around alcohol and the behaviors that come with it... Let's be honest here, this is not new anywhere in the world.

    If you're going to go with this mindset then you might as well stay where you are.

    As for what it's really like. When you are respectful of the culture and rules of the country and don't behave like an idiot abroad; you will be more than fine.
    towncryer likes this.
  3. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    You are likely to get hassled anywhere as a foreigner...especially if you are white. Age does not matter!
    In some reapects Mid East there are some problems due to cultural misunderstanings..You have to behave as local women do and just not get into any conversations with men you don't know and give them the brush off of they try to start up a conversation. I have had one or two problems due to my over friendly nature as I don't like ignoring people ...but with lone men it's a must as a perfectly innocent conversation quicly develops into a request for a kiss or to meet up somewhere even when you tell them you're married!
    You will also get "followed"around shopping malls by groups of sex starved labourers if you so much as wear anything remotely short or revealing. It gets annoying after a while but harmeless. Wear an abaya or very loose and very long clothing...its just easier. You can dress up at home.
    On the other side of the coin my husband has also been hassled by amourous local women (yes really) and that can be far more dangerous. The other day a young girl took his photo without permission and he had to insist she delete it while at the same time not causing offence.She took the photo because she said he was a her "hero" ..he had just passed something down to her in the shop..being the gentlemanly polite person he is...but they read these things totally fdifferent to us.
    So...stay aloof,behave sensibly and don;t assume interactions will be seen the same way as in our own cultures...and you'll be OK.
  4. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I don't think I'd be signing up for India or Pakistan if I were a single woman (never been myself so I'm referring to media coverage but maybe problems are localised in smaller villages)
  5. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    This is a rather bleak and disrespectful view of the world. One would perhaps do better to stay home rather than travel abroad with this expectation. And while you perhaps did not realize the implications of the phrase, "especially if you are white" does have racist possibilities.
  6. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Posters are often quite scathing when it appears that a person has not done adequate research before moving abroad so I wonder why the OP's sensible enquiry has provoked such dismissive comments as 'If you're going to go with this mindset then you might as well stay where you are'.

    Whether construed as racist or not (and frankly, my dears, I don't give a damn) it is a fact that white skin attracts unwelcome attention in some contexts. My blond, blue-eyed son found it a constant irritation in Latin America as did his cousin in Arabia.

    TonyGT's point about India/ Pakistan is well-founded and it is not merely to do with rural communities or media attention. The sub continent has a long history of aborting female fetuses. This has led to a vast over-supply of sexually frustrated males.
    towncryer likes this.
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I don't remember being bothered by lots of local ladies when I was in the ME.
  8. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    It's not entirely false though. A white person walking around a small Chinese village that doesn't get many white people would probably cause quite a stir. Not necessarily in a negative way but when I traveled in my younger days it wasn't uncommon for people to take pictures of you in more rural areas.

    Also, white Europeans are often seen as being wealthy when we're often not which can attract both positive and negative outcomes.
    worlo24 and towncryer like this.
  9. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    I think it's interesting to compare the experience of living somewhere where you look completely different to everyone else and then that of living somewhere where one can blend in more - e.g. a white European in Asia compared to a white European in Europe.

    I've found that there have been fewer language and cultural expectations on me - a white European - in places where I look much different to everyone else. In some countries in Europe there have often been assumptions that I know the language and how things 'work' as I look like a lot of people around me. There's no criticism of either, just observations.

    That said, I did enjoy the near celebrity status one could get in remote Chinese towns...

    As for safety for women our experience in SE Asia was positive, and I've heard similar from people in Central Asian locations, and Western Europe has been good also.
    T0nyGT and towncryer like this.
  10. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    Then you're clearly not as suave and good looking as my hubby,:D
  11. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    Rather harsh,Gulf Golf.
    I am not being disrespectful or racist at all. I am telling you what I have experienced in continents and countries over many many years.
    I am very much of the opinion that a great deal of racist "problems"originate from those who look for racist connotations in every word anyone utters or types.
  12. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    But I do not see them in every word, as evidenced by my (hundreds) of posts which never mention the subject. I see them in a sentence which says quite clearly
    So "hassled anywhere... especially if you are white".
    I refuse to agree with the idea that "racist problems" are the fault of people who spot them, rather than the people who perpetuate them. Rather problematic that one. Your broken window isn't my fault even though I put a football through it. It's your fault for seeing it.
    It's quite probably true that you do not intend to be racist. It's quite probably true that when you wrote of the likelihood of white people getting hassled, you didn't realize that this could be (mis)understood by others as a racist statement. It would be a good moment to say "oops, that came out wrong".
    As this is a good moment for me to say "I've said my piece".
  13. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    When I arrived in Abu Dhabi all the other new starters at my school were single young ladies, aged 25-32 and as were were all new and in the same boat we socialised together quite a lot. I don't think any of them have any trouble here - apart from one girl who was twice asked to leave the mall by security for being inappropriately dressed. Sure there were a lot of guys willing to try chatting them up in bars, but according to them no more than back home, and I don't think it was particularly unwelcome a lot of the time.

    An old friend recently left Egypt, and she did say that in the place she lived (just outside Cairo I think) there were a few times guys made unwelcome remarks, etc. and that it wore thin after a while. But she was there for 7 years so it I don't think it was too big an issue.
    dearlouise likes this.
  14. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    Nah...nothing further to say. If it bothers you...it's your problem not mine,
  15. dearlouise

    dearlouise New commenter

    I don't have a mindset... I'm asking questions because of the themes I'm seeing from the research I've done so far. For example, reading that it's very difficult for an unmarried woman to live in the UAE. I'm trying to find out whether that IS the case, or not. That's nothing to do with alcohol. Am I going to be able to go food shopping easily? Can I attend public places alone as a woman? Will I be treated differently? I obviously don't want to have an awful quality of life. I don't drink, smoke etc. it's not about that - daily tasks, I'm talking about.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  16. dearlouise

    dearlouise New commenter

    Thank you - that's very helpful. I'm not particularly attractive & am just outside that age range, so hopefully it would be fine. :)
  17. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    there are huge parts of the world where none of this would be an issue. don't focus on small parts of the world, open up your horizons and you will be amazed at the opportunities out there.

    I have worked in a number of places that are "less desirable", I personally have had a great time in all of them (apart from Spain), and every school I have worked at has had large amounts of single women working at them. none of them have seemed to have any issues.

    the whole "safety" thing is a relative term. would I feel safe in large parts of many big cities in the UK..... hell no! as long as you are sensible, and take reasonable precautions many parts of the world are absolutely fine.
  18. 03mkk

    03mkk New commenter

    I lived in Dubai for three years and never had an issue going to malls, the beach or going out, even if by myself. Obviously if going to the souks or Anywhere in old town, you just cover shoulders and knees but it’s seriously not hard to follow basic cultural expectations in these areas. At brunches, spas, beaches etc though you can wear what you like the only times I’ve felt slightly uneasy is hiking in rural RAK or Sharjah and some overly friendly locals, however they were well meaning.

    There are lots of rules about drinking or behaviour etc but lots of loopholes too.
    I think Abu Dhabi is a bit quieter in general but Dubai was great for me and I don’t regret going there at all. I never once felt unsafe- if anything I am now too complacent with my bags or purse etc.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  19. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Your headline is "Countries women should avoid?"

    But you're doing the right thing in researching and gaining some background knowledge.
  20. This isn't exclusive to being white (or in a rural area). I'm black and have people asking to take photos with me. And this is in Shanghai.

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