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.


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

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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