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Compared with many African countries, Ethiopia is pretty easygoing for women travellers. The risk of rape or other serious offences is likely lower than in many Western countries. The best advice is to simply be aware of the signals your clothing or behaviour may be giving off and remember these unspoken codes of etiquette. In some of the monasteries and holy sites of Ethiopia, an ancient prohibition forbids women from setting foot in the holy confines. But the holy fathers go strictly by the book: the prohibition extends not just to women but to all female creatures, even she donkeys, hens and nanny goats.
Many cheap hotels in Ethiopia double as brothels. Even a seemingly innocent invitation to the cinema can turn out to be little more than an invitation to a good snog in the back row. Traditionally, this formed part of the wedding-night ritual of every Amhara bride: a fierce struggle with the groom was expected of them.
Consequently, some Ethiopian men may mistake your rebuttals for encouragement. The concept even has a name in Amharic: maqderder and applies equally to feigned reluctance for other things such as food. If you mean no, make it very clear from the start. Usually any ulterior plans he might have been harbouring himself are soon converted into sympathy or shame and a personal crusade to protect you! For this reason, a wedding ring on a woman traveller bogus or not has absolutely no deterrent value.
In fact, quite the reverse. Female Phobia In some of the monasteries and holy sites of Ethiopia, an ancient prohibition forbids women from setting foot in the holy confines.