For the last 102 years, March 8 — better known as International Women's Day (IWD) — has served as a time to honour the achievements and contributions that women have made around the world. Since 1975, every IWD has come with an official theme, and this year's focus on the momentum behind the gender agenda — the movement powering the years of progress behind women's rights — is no different.
While gains have been made in areas like education, health, and reproductive rights for women over time, the issue of violence against women still persists, even in the world of travel. Today, as much 64 per cent of the all travel is done by women, according to Intrepid Travel. Yet travelling for women has been cast in a shadow after the death of Sarai Sierra, an American woman killed in Turkey while travelling by herself back in February.
Since then, the idea of a women travelling by herself in a foreign country has come under fire, spawning the idea that "a single woman traveling [sic] alone is risky. In a foreign country, it is downright foolish,” according to an online comment in Forbes Magazine. Women in the travel community have since battled back using the hashtag #wegosolo to argue the issue isn't with women travelling, but a global attitude against women that needs to change.
HuffPost Canada Travel asked nine Canadian women from diverse backgrounds, all who consider themselves travellers, on what they would change about the world of travel on behalf of women, as well as any advice they wanted to share. For the most part, their responses shared a common theme: this culture of fear surrounding women travelling alone needs to end. They believe the empowerment achieved through travelling by yourself is something no one should miss out on. To see what each traveller had to share, check out the gallery below and join the discussion on Twitter today with @HPCaTravel
International Women's Day Travel Wisdom: