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

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

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

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