Are women-only train carriages a good idea?

London tube women-only
Over recent weeks, Jeremy Corbyn has sparked a row that has blazed across the country. The Labour leader candidate has announced that he would consider women-only train carriages in the hope to curb the rise in assaults on public transport.

In an interview with the Independent, Corbyn announced that his plan would be to ‘report crimes in stations and a pilot scheme would be rolled out on trains and Tubes to introduce women-only carriages after 10pm at night.’

The call for women-only carriages comes as the number of cases of sexual assaults being reported has reached an all-time high. Corbyn said, “It is simply unacceptable that many women and girls adapt their daily lives in order to avoid being harassed on the street, public transport and in other public places from the park to the supermarket. This could include taking longer routes to work, having self-imposed curfews, avoiding certain means of transport.”

“My intention would be to make public transport safer for everyone from the train platform to the bus stop to the mode of transport itself.”

The British Transport Police (BTP) believe that this rise in reported cases is not due to an increase in assaults, but mainly as a by-product of their campaign, Project Guardian, which aimed to encourage the reporting of these offenses.

Women-only carriages were last used in the UK in 1977, but countries such as Mexico, Russia, Japan, India and Indonesia still operate them. However, some have argued that to reintroduce these carriages would be a step backwards in the equality of women. The Conservative women’s minister, Nicky Morgan has claimed that it is simple, “segregation”, while fellow Labour leader candidate Yvette Cooper said that it would be, “turning the clock back, not tackling the problem.”

She continues, “We shouldn’t have to shut ourselves away from men for our own safety. The staff needed to enforce the segregated carriages should be keeping all the carriages safe instead.”

In a report for the Department of Transport, published last year, it suggested that to re-introduce women-only carriages, “could be thought of as insulting, patronising and shaming to both men and women.”

Others have argued that if these ideas were brought into place then it could lead to ‘victim shaming’. If a female passenger chose not to get into the women-only carriage and was then assaulted, would it then be her fault?

Here at WeAreTheCity, we’d love to know what you think of introducing women-only train carriages. Are they a good or bad idea? Would you feel safer in a women-only carriage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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