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Goa For Women Travellers

Compared with other regions of India, Goa is an easy-going destination for women: incidents of sexual Goa For Women Travelersharassment are relatively rare, and opportunities to meet local women frequent At the same time, it is important to remember that significant cultural differences still exist, especially in those areas where tourism is a relatively recent phenomenon. Problems, when they do occur, invariably stem from the fact that many Western travelers do a range of things that no self-respecting Goan woman would consider: from drinking alcohol or smoking in a bat-restaurant to sleeping in a room with a man to whom they are not married. Without compromising your freedom too greatly, though, there are a few common-sense steps you can take to accommodate local Feelings.

Women_Travellers The most important and obvious is dress. Western visitors who wear clothes that expose shoulders, legs or cleavage do neither themselves nor their fellow travellers any favours. Opt, therefore, for loose-fitting clothes that keep these areas covered. When travelling alone on public transport, it is also a good idea to sit with other women (most buses have separate "ladies' seats" at the front). If you're with a man, a wedding ring also confers immediate respectability.

Appropriate behaviour for the beach is a trickier issue. The very idea of a woman lying semi-naked in full view of male strangers is anathema to Goans. However, local people in the coastal resorts have come to tolerate such bizarre behaviour over the past two or three decades, and swimsuits and bikinis are no longer deemed indecent, especially if worn with a sarong. Topless bathing, on the other hand, is definitely out of the question (see "Nudism", p.47l, even though you'll doubtless encounter bare breasts on the more hippified beaches. One very good reason to keep your top on is that it confounds the expectations of men who descend on Goa in large parties from outside the state expressly to ogle women, enticed by the prospect of public nudity.

Women_Travellers Women Tourist's In GoaNot surprisingly, the beaches are where you're most likely to experience sexual harassment, known in Goa as "Eve teasing". Your reaction to harassment is down to you. Verbal hassle is probably best ignored, but if you get touched it's best to react the usual English responses will be well enough understood. If you shout "don't touch me!" in a crowded area, you're likely to find people on your side, and your assailant shamed. Touching up a Goan woman would be judged totally unacceptable behaviour, so there's no reason why you should put up with it either.

On the positive side, spending time with Goan women can be a delight The only obstacle to this, particularly in rural areas, is that few women speak English, and you won't run into many local women in cafes. However, public transport can be a good meeting ground, as can shops and guesthouses, which are often run by women. On the beach, you'll also find yourself frequently mobbed by women hawkers from Kamataka and Rajasthan. Such encounter are, of course, motivated primarily by commercial interest, but can be rewarding nonetheless.