Canadian travel guide ‘Her Own Way’ has come under fire after advising female travellers to wear a fake wedding ring to fend off unwanted attention while on holiday.
The Canadian Government first released ‘Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe – Travel Guide’ back in 2000, and it’s now in its third edition.
Described as ‘preventive and female-friendly’ the guide looks at ‘tackling the security, cultural, health and social concerns of women travellers’.
The pamphlet advises under the ‘coping with sexual harassment’ section that women travelling about should wear a fake wedding ring.
It states: “Also carry a photo of your husband (or imaginary one), which you can show to persistent suitors. Being seen as married will lower your profile and stave off uninvited advances”.
Carol Tompson, a reporter for OpenFile Toronto has revealed that many have slated the suggestion as ‘deceitful, paternalistic and preachy’.
She said: “It’s an approach that some Canadians believe is deceitful, paternalistic and preachy, while others think the lie is a good safety technique for women.
Many have backed the pamphlet, after the advice given appears to be a valid suggestion.
Sinc MacRae, an associate professor at Mount Royal University was quoted in the article saying that the Canadian government shouldn’t be telling women to lie.
He said: “Think about the negative consequences. You are going to have to deal with the fact that you are lying. It’s not just the one lie. It builds and it’s going to have to have a pack of lies behind it”.
Jean Bruno Villeneuve, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs told the Huffington Post Canada that the strategy was formulated after “extensive consultations with dozens of experiences women travellers, missions abroad, consular case management officers and travel experts”.
However, he did reveal that the advice was not marked out for specific countries, instead specific situations.
‘Travelling Women’ is a similar brochure published in Australia, and advises women to take extra precautions after nightfall.
Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh