Would you feel safer in same-sex transport? 70% of women said they would feel safer in a same-sex transport system. This is according to a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of nearly 6 300 women in 15 of the world’s largest capitals, including New York. The women said they would feel safer in single-sex areas on buses and trains.
This may come across as a foreign concept, but it has already been put into operation. The world’s largest capital, Tokyo, was one of the first to introduce female-only cars on trains to stop women being abused. It has been followed by cities where sexual assault is more prevalant such as Mexico City and Jakarta.
This trend comes as reports of female-abuse is on the rise and studies link safe transport to female economic empowerment.
The question of whether this concept is practical is still being argued by experts who remain critical. However, most women favour the idea. Claudine Saldua, a 21-year-old student, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation:”Sometimes I go to the women’s area especially when I observe that there are a lot of boys in my lane.”
Laura Howley (29), a personal assistant working in London, said: “I’ve never felt unsafe on the tube or trains… I wouldn’t actively seek out a women-only carriage. I think there could be a backlash against women because of it and maybe create an anti-female feeling.”
Emily May, co-founder of anti-harassment group Hollaback! in New York, said there was no “one size fits all” solution to stop harassment on transport but it was critical to address as women gave up jobs and even moved home due to transport fears. “There certainly are people in some countries in which women-only carriages have been implemented that love them and feel so much safer because of them. But I think they are band-aid solutions and I don’t think they are the kind of change we want. We don’t want to be telling women that they have to ride in a different car or that they have to walk down a different street or wear different clothes.”
Would you feel safer if there were women-only public transport available? Tell us what you think.