The Maldives is a popular couples destination. Lovebirds flock to the islands for engagements, weddings, honeymoons and anniversary celebrations. Because of this, few people think of the Maldives as a location for solo or platonic group travel. Women also worry about travelling solo to the Maldives because it is a Muslim country.
I travelled alone to Rasdhoo Island for two weeks, in 2019. It is the safest I have ever felt in a foreign destination and women are nowhere near as restricted as we have been taught to expect of Muslim countries. This is not to say that restrictions do not exist or that some Muslim nations do not place unfair restrictions on women. I am saying that, based on my personal experience, Rasdhoo Island is not one of those places women need to worry about.
During my time there, I attended a send-off dinner for a young Maldivian who was going to Russia, by herself, to study. She had the full support of her family and they were proud of her decision. I also met a woman politician at the villa I stayed at and she had as much to say at the dinner table as the men did.
Outside of my observation of gender relations and women’s rights, the island was beautiful and I never ran out of things to do. I tried delicious foods, kayaked, swam with sharks, pet sea turtles, fed fishes and took more boat rides in two weeks than I ever have in my entire life. I would love to go back. Wouldn’t you?
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