Indonesia the Latest to Offer Gender-Segregated Public Transportation

We’ve written a lot about the phenomenon of creating women-only cars as a means of combating sexual harassment in public spaces. Indonesia is the latest to offer a version of this trend, introducing gender-segregated public transportation in the capital Jakarta. Last week in a piece for Akimbo, my colleague Melanie Abrahams noted that “having your heart in the right place when it comes to protecting and promoting women’s health and safety is important” but expressed doubt that the gender-segregated cars would actually make women safer “unless the Indonesian government gets serious about addressing the root of the problem: a widespread and accepted disrespect for women.”

I have to agree. Just like Mexico’s pink cabs, and women-only train cars in Brazil, Iran, and Japan, while these measures might make women safer in the short term, they fail to address the greater issue of rampant sexual harassment that threatens women’s safety to begin with. Sometimes, to help ensure a woman’s safety, you don’t need to pour millions of dollars into creating an entirely separate public transportation system. Rather, it can be as easy as ABC, if you only refer to another 3 letters: CSE. Comprehensive Sexuality Education. Implement a program in schools that includes information about women’s human rights and gender equality, so the next generation of women- and men- don’t have to deal with public spaces that are unsafe and unequal.

Related:

Mexico city launches pink, women-only taxis

All women Public Transportation in India
Women-only train cars in Brazil
Japanese men angry over women-only train cars
Tehran introducing all-women transportation
Taking up space: The Blank Noise Project
Subway gropers exposed
Raise your hand if you’ve been harassed on the subway

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2 Comments

  1. Posted August 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Lori,

    Isn’t your point of view putting quite a spin on things? “¨[...] creating women-only cars as a means of combating sexual harassment in public spaces.”

    Maybe, maybe. A more likely explanation is that this is a Muslim policy. Indosnesia, after all, is one of the largest Msulim countries.

    That being so, I would have thought that Feministing would be combating the introduction of segregated transport. Would you agree that there should be Black-only carriages (in the USA) on trains, on the ground that they might be assaulted or insulted?

    As for CSE in Indonesia, I think that is a dream.

    • Posted August 26, 2010 at 1:37 am | Permalink

      “That being so, I would have thought that Feministing would be combating the introduction of segregated transport. Would you agree that there should be Black-only carriages (in the USA) on trains, on the ground that they might be assaulted or insulted?”

      That is one argument I have never heard in the years long discussion on segregated transport or female only spaces. Very interesting.

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