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

Samantha Baines: “It’s time to leave our vaginas the hell alone”

The Call the Midwife star has her say on vaginal beauty treatments

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

Ramadan: The best places to break your fast in London

These London restaurants provide late night openings and special iftar menus

26 May 2017

10-year-old survivor’s letter to Ariana Grande is beyond beautiful

“I really hope you’re not too scared”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

It’s official: this easy email hack is guaranteed to boost read rates

Make your emails stand out in your recipient's inbox with one simple trick

by Jasmine Andersson
26 May 2017

Fathers pay more attention to daughters than sons, new study shows

Dads are also "more emotionally engaged" with girls

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Men are totally devastated by this women-only Wonder Woman screening

Who knew they were such big fans of Diana Prince?

by Moya Crockett
26 May 2017

Dog breaks into studio to help reporter read the news

The internet is obsessed with this live news blooper (and for good reason)

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

“Get over yourself”: gymnast hits back at stranger who judged her arms

Alexandra Raisman responds to “rude and uncomfortable” incident

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Fighting for their rights: the heroic teens battling period taboos

"I wasn’t allowed to comb my hair, look in the mirror, attend school, read and write."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 May 2017

Twitter responds to terror threat level the only way it knows how

#BritishThreatLevels showcases the self-deprecating humour we Brits seem to love

by Amy Swales
25 May 2017