Janeen Christoff | March 21, 2016 2:15 PM ET
Why We Need #Viajosolo
After two women were found murdered along the Pacific Coast of Ecuador, many asked the question “why were they traveling alone?” And in the face of this criticism, women around the world are banding together to stand up for their right to explore the world solo.
Many online comments blamed the women for traveling alone and moved Guadelupe Acosta to pen a facebook post about how victim-blaming only makes the situation more tragic. In the post, she says:
"There are hundreds of laws under which (women) are treated as equals. But while that's the law, the real world is something else," she says. "We must all start practicing more empathy, put ourselves in the heads of others and try to understand. Only this way will we achieve real change."
It has since gone viral as women from around the globe rally around their rights to travel alone.
Using the hashtag #Viajosolo (I travel alone) women have lit up sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to share stories and anecdotes of their own solo travel experiences.
Leslie Karen Piangco says traveling solo “refreshes her soul.”
— Leslie Karen Piangco (@leslie_karen09) March 21, 2016
@rovingeyes786 says that traveling alone was the best time she has ever had.
— Dark and Twisty (@rovingeyes786) March 21, 2016
This is not the first time that women have had to defend their right to travel alone.
Sarai Sierra was murdered in Turkey because she wouldn’t kiss a man. Similar questions cropped up both in major news outlets and on social media about why she was traveling alone in the first place.
What many fail to overlook about these twin tragedies is that women face these kinds of threats in their home countries as well as abroad, and the incidents of violence on women happening while they are traveling solo abroad are actually much less frequent than the number of times it happens at home as an article in the Guardian very astutely points out.
There is definitely a double standard when it comes to men and women traveling alone and women should continue to use the hashtag #viajosolo to encourage the masses to go out, and experience the world – on your own, with your friends or however they want.
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