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There are no restrictions on women's travel or activity in Russia. Soviet planners succeeded at employing women in every sector of the economy, but failed to change traditional views on gender. As a result, Russian women go to work all day and do all the cooking, cleaning, child-care, and shopping. Russian men retain traditions such as opening doors for women, carrying women's bags (even strangers'), and picking up the check when in a restaurant or bar. Women traveling alone should be careful walking the streets at night, as you could be mistaken for a prostitute or otherwise hassled. Check out the award-winning website Journeywoman (www.journeywoman.com), a "real-life" women's travel-information network where you can sign up for a free e-mail newsletter and get advice on everything from etiquette and dress to safety. The travel guide Safety and Security for Women Who Travel by Sheila Swan and Peter Laufer (Travelers' Tales Guides), offering common-sense tips on safe travel, was updated in 2004.

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