I have read a few articles recently regarding western, female travelers. One spoke with great concern and even warning, whilst others offered a totally different view. I feel inclined to speak about the wonders of India, and traveling there in particular.
India is a beautiful, magical and wildly different country, at least for the uninitiated. It can feel like a relentless assault on the senses, with unknown smells, techni-coloured market stalls, inquisitive stares and a cacophony of sound that persists from dawn to dusk and beyond, anywhere where there is a grouping of people. But in my humble opinion it is at least as safe as any other place I know of for female tourists, and tourists in general, and the social and cultural issues regarding the abuse of Indian women are coming under an ever more intense spot light.
Your trip to India, as a foreign woman, is vital towards that cause, since it awakens in Indian men, and women, the realization that women are equal beings, to be respected - no better, and no worse, than men. Yes there is some way to go for sure, but in my view, in terms of safety, travel anywhere today requires common sense and care. I know of hundreds of women who have happily travelled around India, and done so repeatedly. Indeed, many of the ladies who come on our yoga teacher training will have travelled before arriving at Ashiyana, or will go on to travel afterwards. Apart from normal, initial, concerns about the inquisitive attention paid to any tourist, male or female, I have very rarely heard of any serious matters of disrespect in any way.
It is the female archetype, as divine goddess, which is at the very epicentre of Indian culture. This image is in their blood and DNA - it will not take as much as some imagine for the 'tipping point' to be reached wherein men (and women) remember, again, the fundamental need for women to be viewed as the goddesses that they are.
India needs this, the world needs this, indeed our very future on planet earth calls for this awakening.
Om shanti :)