Despite all the advancements this world has made in gender equality and human rights, women all over the world still have to take action to protect their rights and their safety.
According to a World Health Organization study from 2016, one in three women worldwide will experience either physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
Female business travelers are somewhat more vulnerable when they visit foreign countries and today we will give you a quick reminder of safety measures to take as provided by international experts.
- Never accept a drink from anyone unless you have seen it poured; don’t leave leave the drink unattended.
- Limit alcohol consumption; don’t get tempted by drug abuse no matter how trustworthy your new local acquaintances or colleagues seem.
- Request an escort to your car after dark; if you took a cab back to your hotel, ask the driver to remain on position for a few minutes until you safely enter your hotel.
- If you have to leave your hotel and take a cab, have your hotel or place of work call an authorized taxi service.
- Don’t keep all your personal documents and papers in your wallet; in case you get assaulted and your wallet is stolen, you need to have backup papers to show to your local Embassy or Consulate in order to get assistance.
- If you are on a business trip with colleagues go out in groups, especially at night.
- In order to avoid sexual harassment in the hotel or the work place hold meetings with an audience or public places and exhibit self-confidence.
- In case you feel threatened, ignore or deflect advances using forceful language; remove yourself rapidly from the situation, seeking safety in a public venue.
- If you don’t feel particularly trustworthy of your elevator companion, take the stairs or find an excuse to not go in the elevator with that person even if you share the same hotel.
- When you travel abroad be prepared to meet cultural, social, and economical disparities in access to medical care, medication availability, and personal health products, customs and medical infrastructure.
- If you travel with a working group, make sure you have a Panic Button app installed on your phone; this will help you and any member of the group alert each other in case you are in a distress situation; the app allows you to discreetly send a panic call together with your GPS locatBusiion to you pre-established emergency contacts to make search and rescue easier and more efficient.
- When you travel abroad be sure you know beforehand the emergency numbers and the address of your Embassy or Consulate.
- The saying “When in Rome…” should be taken to heart: learn about the culture, customs, traditions and unwritten rules of the country you visit and behave in such a manner to avoid offending the locals.
- You should also know and respect the local rules and legislation and avoid getting in trouble by being oblivious to the local laws.
- If you fall victim to an assault or robbery, immediately seek medical assistance and report the crime; your local Embassy or Consulate can provide assistance for you and help you stay safe.