Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

European train operator launches women-only carriages after a spate of sex attacks

rexfeatures_3456563a.jpg

Only months after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was the subject of controversy after suggesting Britain consider women-only carriages on trains, a German rail operator has announced it is launching the service after a series of violent sex attacks in the country. 

Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn will introduce the new carriage on the Leipzig to Chemnitz line. Boys up to the age of 10 will also be allowed in the carriages, but once they hit 11 they will have to sit in the mixed compartments.

However, despite the widespread sex attacks over New Year's Eve in Cologne, the operator denied that the introduction of the women-only carriages had anything to do with the repeated assaults, with a spokesman saying: "The proposal for this came from passengers who want more privacy... It has nothing to do with sexual harassment."

Women-only train carriages

While countries around the world, from Japan to India, have all adopted women-only modes of transport, the last time women-only compartments existed on UK trains was in 1977. 

The announcement of the women-only carriages, which are designed to make female travellers feel safer on trains, kickstarted a debate on German social media, with the hashtag #imzugpassiert (it happened in a train) leading to women sharing examples of when they have felt personally harassed on trains. 

Despite the operator's denial that the Cologne sex attacks had anything to do with the decision to segregate their trains, the attacks, in which violent gangs assaulted dozens of women during New Year's Eve in the city's main train station, some believe it was bound to have been in bosses' minds when they took the bold step, especially given that it is only days after the first suspect of the Cologne sex attacks was charged with a sex crime.

Train

The carriages will be positioned next to the train conductor for added security, with a spokesman saying: “The local proximity to the customer service representative is chosen deliberately.”

When the idea was suggested in the UK, Conservative women’s minister Nicky Morgan said that women-only carriages missed the point.

“It seems to me not to tackle the issue, which is that women should feel safe and be free from harassment," she said. "It seems to say ‘let’s segregate people’ rather than tackling the issue.”

Related

rexfeatures_944618a.jpg

Do we need women-only train carriages?

iStock_000073088015_Medium.jpg

How living like a Danish woman made me happier

lara jade.jpg

Why are women so underrepresented in photography?

emma-watson.jpg

Watch Emma Watson beatboxing for gender equality

MyBodyDoes.JPG

Women use affirmation stickers to fight back against body-shaming ads

310_tablet_womens_equality_LEAD_v1.jpg

Just who are the Women’s Equality Party and what do they stand for?

woman walking.jpg

Woman wins bravery award for fighting off sex attacker with her keys

3656368315_6c19fed26c_o.jpg

Inside the feminist village that has banned men for 25 years

wife-bonus.jpg

'Don’t laugh at the wife bonus – it’s a warning for us all'

Comments

More

US school girl campaigned against her school's tank top ban and won

She arrived at school with the words #IAmNotADistraction on her arm.

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Science has revealed why your Tinder first date is always rubbish

Getting past swiping right can be hard enough

by Jasmine Andersson
21 Apr 2017

This campaign is changing the way images of women are used in media

And it's already had a huge impact.

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Rashida Jones "lifts the veil" on porn industry in new Netflix series

Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On is out today

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Apr 2017

Giraffes to be listed as endangered in bid to prevent “silent extinct”

Environmentalists say we are at risk of the “silent extinction” of the world’s tallest land animal

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Why introverts are more likely to excel in their chosen career path

All hail the quietly powerful

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Apr 2017

This mother and daughter’s cancer battle is inspiring women everywhere

Their story has touched the hearts of social media users

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Apr 2017

Why everyone is talking about Netflix's 13 Reasons Why

From alternate endings to that potential second series

by Jasmine Andersson
20 Apr 2017

This is why your cat won’t stop lying on your things

Nope, they’re not just being irritating on purpose.

by Hayley Spencer
20 Apr 2017

New video for Repeal the 8th campaign makes its point beautifully

The battle for reproductive rights in Ireland will reach fever pitch this weekend

by Elle Griffiths
20 Apr 2017