Wednesday, 9 July 2014

São Paulo to introduce women only metro carriages


You would have thought that in a civilised society it would not be necessary to have segregated transport. However, the high incidence of sexual harassment in crowded public areas has resulted in the São Paulo Legislative Assembly approving a bill making it mandatory for the CPTM and metro networks to include women only carriages at peak hours.

Following Rio de Janeiro who already introduced them in 2006 São Paulo will now have pink carriages. The bill will now be signed by Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin after which the metro and CPTM train operators will have 90 days to put the pink cars on the tracks.

In Rio the platforms have police enforcement officers to prevent men from, intentionally or unintentionally, boarding the wrong cars. Presumably, São Paulo will have a similar setup.

This type of harassment prevention scheme is already in place in many countries known to have a sexist culture with high harassment rates including Japan, Egypt, India, Iran, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Dubai and of course Brazil.

In Sao Paulo as elsewhere it will provide an instant solution to those who suffer public harassment on public transport, which is clearly a good thing but presumably will not do much to educate and change the culture that makes the law necessary in the first place.

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