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Women's Equality in Mass Transportation

For many women around the world, riding a crowded bus or riding the train alone at night can cause great anxiety. Unfortunately, sexual abuse in public spaces and mass transportation often seem unavoidable in urban areas. Does separation solve the problem?

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Written by DeletedUser

For many women around the world, riding a crowded bus or riding the train alone at night can cause great anxiety. Unfortunately, sexual abuse in public spaces and mass transportation often seem unavoidable in urban cities. According to a report that was conducted in Tokyo,  nearly 64% of women ages 20 to 30 had been groped in subway train cars. In the same study, 75% of women said that  they feel unsafe when using the mass transit. 

Today, many different campaigns around the world aim to improve women’s safety on transport, many of which do so by separating them from men. For example, complaints in India prompted the creation of women’s-only buses in Mumbai and bus rapid transit (BRT) buses inAhmedabad, Indore, Bhopal, Surat and Rajkot, all reserve space in the front of the buses for women. In Mexico, Mexico City’s metro and Metrobús BRT and Guadalajara’s light rail and Macrobús BRT also include separate spaces for women. 

Development of a mass transportation was previously assumed to be gender neutral, meaning that both males and females should benefit equally from the transport. At the same time, there are some operational problems with the seperation such as 'How to make sure seperate places are respected and not stigmatized?', 'Does the women-only transportation run at the same frequency?', 'How will women commute from the transport stations to their homes?' 

Without any doubt, the long term solution relies on education people that sexual abuse is unacceptable. In the short run, does seperation solve the problem?


Reference: Is Separate Equal? An Opinion on Women's Equality in Transportation

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Thanks Sue for sharing.
As Rafael and Meena mentioned there are a few other related research posts on the topic, which shows that there is clearly a theme to explore. Here are a few others on which you might want to build upon too:

http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/women-only-subway-train-cars

http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/will-you-be-my-train-friend
There are other research posts on taxi cabs for women:
http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/cabs-for-women-by-women-india
http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/mulan-female-texi-driver-team-in-taipei

I think it emphasizes the issue of transportation. See my discussion with Sean on the comment thread of his post. He mentioned an interesting example in Nepal:
http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/design-constraints-safety-mapping-apps
The comment thread started by Meena is also very rich.

You also raise important questions regarding women only car as only a short or mid-term response to the issue.

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