The Labour-leader candidate would consider segregating public transport to combat sexual assault
Labour leader candidate Jeremy Corbyn has said that he would consider female-only carriages on public transport as a measure to protect women from sexual assault.
The Islington North MP, who is currently running a hotly contested race to take over from Ed Miliband, claims that as leader he would be open to the idea of segregated carriages – IF women wanted them.
“Some women have raised with me that a solution to the rise in assault and harassment on public transport could be to introduced women only carriages,” he told The Independent.
“My intention would be to make public transport safer for everyone from the train platform, to the bus stop on to the mode of transport itself. However, I would consult with women and open it up to hear their views on whether women-only carriages would be welcome – and also if piloting this at times and modes of transport where harassment is reported most frequently would be of interest.”
The comments come after the British Transport Police announced that the number of recorded sexual offences on trains and at stations has risen 25 per cent in a year, coming in at a record high.
If the UK did in the future adopt female-only carriages on public transport they would be following in the footsteps of countries like Brazil and Japan, where they have been welcomed by women for making them feel safer.
Corbyn’s comments have sparked a fair amount of righteous indignation on Twitter, with many men comparing the suggestion to apartheid-era South Africa.
Many women have pointed out that in the grand scheme of issues facing women today, creating a segregated public transport is not a priority:
“I can think of many things women need in today’s society. Women-only train carriages in the UK don’t even make the long-list,” tweeted Alexandra Coghlan.
And then there is of course the simple argument that instead of separating men and women, we invest more money and time in teaching men from all walks of life not to assault women. In any setting. At any time of day. Ever.
“We don’t need women only train carriages Mr Corbyn; we need to educate boys and men that women aren’t pieces of meat,” tweeted Katy Vans.
Are women-only carriages the answer?