Just as in the U.S., womenâ€™s rights and opportunities do not quite equal their male counterpartsâ€™. Argentina may have a female president, but still a much smaller percentage of women than men are involved in politics, and it is more difficult for them to succeed in the business world.
A lot of pressure is put on a womanâ€™s appearance, which will be especially apparent if you travel to Buenos Aires, and donÂ´t be surprised if you get frequently ogled or cat-called. Being physically harassed is unlikely. You may experience some harassment in bars or dance clubs, but tango dancing is generally a safe alternative for single women and does not produce unwanted expectations from male dance partners. Be leery, however, about accepting invitations to go out with a man alone.
You will be safer and avoid unwanted attention if you dress conservatively and refrain from wearing a lot of jewelry. (For Buenos Aires: if you are worried about standing out, try sticking to darker, dressier clothing.) Take extra precautions when walking at night, and use a taxi when you can. In big cities, keep car doors locked and windows closed.
Pick-pocketing and purse cutting are common, especially in crowded places like public buses, so try to stay aware of whatâ€™s around you. To minimize your risk in these situations, you can carry bags that are small or inconspicuous, zip closed and/or are easy to keep close to your person. DonÂ´t keep money or credit cards in open pockets. If you are wearing a backpack, you can put it on frontwards to better monitor your belongings.
(*Note: donâ€™t let this information make you overly nervous or paranoid - these are just a few precautions you can take for greater safety. Be street smart, evaluate the situation for yourself - you will usually be able to judge whether or not youâ€™re at risk.)
Argentina has a 24-hour police helpline in English for tourists visiting Buenos Aires, which you can reach by dialing 101. You can also contact the police office for tourists, ComisarĂa del Turista, by dialing toll-free, 0800 999 5000, or by calling directly, 4346 5748 (this line provides service in several languages).
Gay and Lesbian Travelers
Latin American acceptance of queers and queer culture has come a long way in the past decade, even just in the past few years, and Argentina is leading the way. In 2003 Buenos Aires became the first city in Latin America to legalize same-sex unions. Buenos Aires and Rosario both have anti-discrimination laws for homosexuals, and the national constitution has some anti-discrimination provisions as well.
Buenos Aires has by far the most to offer queer travelers, and the list of hotels, venues and events that cater to the gay community is growing daily. In September of 2007 the city hosted the Gay World Cup, part of International Gay and Lesbian Football Association World Soccer Championships that started in 1991. In October Buenos Aires saw the arrival of Latin Americaâ€™s first luxury hotel for gay men - The Axel Hotel.
Granted, this is not all due to good will. An estimated 20 percent of the tourists who come to Buenos Aires are gay, in other words, about $600 million a year. There is still something of a lag between services and attitudes, but one is pushing the other along at a quick clip.
If you are planning a vacation to Buenos Aires, www.gaymapbuenosaires.com is a great resource. It marks gay discos, pubs, bars, restaurants and bath houses across the city. You can get it online or at the tourist office in the city.
Amerika, GascĂłn 1040
Angelâ€™s, Viamonte 2168
Alsina, Alsina 934, open Fri. and Sun.
Codigo Search, Av. RivadavĂa 1910
Glam, Cabrera 3046
Marlene, Colombres 770
The Sub Club, CĂłrdoba 543 Verona, HipĂłlito Yrigoyen 968
XO Disco y Fiestas al Rojo, Cerrito 1060
Alojagentina, Av. CĂłrdoba 2415, 7th floor
BA Home and Business, www.bahomeandbusiness.com
El Patio Hostel, Entre Rios 677
La MarĂa Paloma Rural Hostel, www.lamariapaloma.com.ar
Chueca, Honduras 5255
Gurruchaga, Gurruchaga 1824
Empire (Thai food) Tres Sargentos 427
Inside, BmĂ©. Mitre 1571
La Farmacia, BolĂvar 898
La Oveja Negra, BolĂvar 860
La Tekla, Talcahuano 897
Contramano, RodrĂguez PeĂ±a 1082Bach Bar, Cabrera 4390
Bulnes Class, Bulnes 1250
Casa Brandon, L.M. Drago 236
Cero Consecuencia, Carera 3769
Eternity Club, B. Mitre 3514
Donde BS AS, HipĂłlito Yrigoyen 968
Felinos Club (24 hrs), M.T. de Alvear 1260
Flux , M.T. de alvear 980
Homo Sapiens, GascĂłn 956
KM Zero, Av. Santa FĂ© 2516
Mina Pub, A. CĂłrdoba 4042
Search, AzcuĂ©naga 1007
Stiges, Av. CĂłrdoba 4119
Transformation, AgĂĽero 726
Gallery Gay, www.galleryg.com.ar
Braga Menendez, Humbolt 1574
Isidro Miranda, www.isidromiranda.com.ar
Tourist Information.Responsible Tourism in Argentina, Tourist Offices, South American Explorers Club, Tourist office, Antarctica Tours and Diversidad.