It beats my imagination to know that there are actually certain places on earth women are not allowed to visit. In this age and time countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran restrict women from visiting some places and doing some things in the open or public space. This article lists nine places in the world women cannot visit and just one place you won’t find a man.
Whether via girlfriend getaways, solo sojourns or adventure-heavy holidays, women are traveling more than ever these days. But even in today’s age of increasing gender equity, there are spots across the globe where the absence of a Y chromosome means a traveler must tread lightly – or not at all.
Many of these bans on females are steeped in religious tradition and etiquette, but is a reminder of how far, or not ,women have come.
Here are nine places in the world women are not allowed to step foot on and just one place you will never find a man.
1. Mount Athos, Greece
Top on this list is the famous Mount Athos in Ancient Greece.
Mount Athos in Greece is commonly known as the Holy Mountain due to the peninsula’s 20 monasteries and monks. Only males are allowed in the religious settlement, as has been the custom for more than a thousand years .
It’s a remote peninsula in northern Greece that millions believe to be the most sacred spot on Earth but forget visiting if you are a woman or a child.
Even female animals are barred on Mount Athos in Greece, a proof that they ain’t joking here.
2. Mount Omine, Japan
This may prove to be more of a headache than the potential status that accrues with being awarded the UNESCO designation. International spotlight on the mountain range will draw attention to one prickly fact: women are not allowed on Mount Omine, which lies in the designated area.
During the Heian period (794 – 1185), the Shugendo pilgrimage trail from Yoshino to Kumano in Wakayama prefecture on the coast became popular and it is said pilgrims who broke the strict rules or were seen to lack sufficient faith were hung over a precipice by their ankles. Women were prohibited from the entire pilgrimage trail until the 1960’s and are still barred from parts of the route today.
It is considered a holy site and therefore pure. Because of menstruation and childbirth, women are considered impure in certain Buddhist sects – and they would thus sully the site if they were to enter it.
3. Lord Ayyappa Temple, Sabarimala, India
Since 1991, all women between the ages of 10-50(at an age when they could be menstruating) have been banned from worshipping at this Hindu shrine in Kerala. A petition to review the ban has been presented to the supreme court of India, but it remains in place.
4. Haji Ali Dargah, India
This mosque and tomb in Mumbai also does not permit female worshippers. “ Entry of women in close proximity of grave of a male Muslim saint is a grevious sin in Islam, ‘ according to the trustees of the site.
5. Jain Temple, India
Restrictions are in places at many other Indian religious sites, including Patbausi Satra in Assam, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, Lord Kartikeya Temple in Pushkar, Jain Temple in Ranakpur and Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque.
6. Some Places in Saudi Arabia
Women in Saudi Arabia face all manner of restrictions on where they can go and what they can do.
Early last year they were temporarily barred from a branch of starbucks in the capital, Riyadh. They are also banned from driving, opening a bank account, going anywhere without a male chaperone, wearing clothes that “show off their beauty”, using public swimming pools, entering cemeteries or interacting with men they are not related to. Like seriously?
7. Iranian Football stadiums
Last year Iran agreed to allow a limited number of women at Volleyball games, following an international outcry over the jailing of a British-Iranian woman who attempted to watch a match.
But while women are now allowed inside stadiums to watch men’s matches in some sports, including Volleyball, Basketball, Handball, and Tennis, others such as Football, Swimming and Wrestling remain strictly off-limits. Can you just imagine…
8. Muirfield Golf Club, Scotland
The East Lothian club voted against accepting female members earlier this month, sparking anger among professionals – prompting the sport’s ruling authority to ban it from hosting the open tournament.
9. Galaxy Rutschenparadies Water Park, Germany
Back in 2012, women were banned from using a high-speed slide at this German water park after several women complained of intimate injuries. “These injuries are caused by the nature of the female anatomy. “ Marcus Maier, the park’s manager, told The Local
10. Umoja Village, Kenya
The village of Umoja in Kenya was established in 1990 as a sanctuary for female survivors of violence by men – and young women fleeing from forced marriages. There is a primary school, cultural centre and campsite for tourists – and men, of course, are banned.