Protection by segregation? Women-only train cars

WHAT IT IS

WHY IT MATTERS

The UK’s action on sexual assault could be a model for Western countries to follow.

  • IMPLEMENT IT – “First step toward change”

    • Reducing rates:   Proponents of the proposal hope to see a reduction in sexual assault rates and aim to propose more legislation to combat sexual assault on a broader scale.
    • Safe alternative:   The train cars provide women with a space where men are on the periphery and they can feel at ease while they travel to work.
  • RETHINK IT – “Avoiding accountability”

    • Easy way out:   Constituents have criticized the train cars for women because segregating the genders avoids addressing the real problem of sexual assault on public transport.
    • Victim shaming:   The proposal implies that sexual assaults are the work of opportunists and by removing the “temptation” of a woman, the problem will go away.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party MP in the UK, is responsible for the proposal and has expressed a desire to solely work with women on the issue.
  • Along with this proposal, Corbyn has been vocal about addressing sexual assault on the streets, from passing vehicles, and in the workplace.
  • The majority of the women-only trains operate only during peak transportation hours.
  • There’s still a lot of criticism of the proposal in the UK.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Are these trains only reducing instances of sexual assault during peak travel time?
  • Will these trains be mandatory at some point?
  • Will cities come to rely on solely this tactic to prevent sexual assault in public transport?