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More Men than Women in 'Women Priority' Carriage in S China's Shenzhen
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2017-7-4-
Title: More Men than Women in 'Women Priority' Carriage in S China's Shenzhen
Source: China Daily
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Keyword: men, women, women priority, carriage

Shenzhen metro authorities recently introduced 'women priority' carriages, the first trial in China. But to the embarrassment of many, there were more men than women in the carriages.

According to the Shenzhen metro staff, the first and last carriages of the current lines 1, 3, 4, and 5 are designated as 'women priority' carriages. Slightly different from the ordinary ones, the platform shield doors outside these carriages carry pink logos.

Within a week after the start of the operation, the 'women priority' carriages were crammed with large numbers of male passengers.

The pink logos are usually blocked in the rush hour as passengers pour in, and there are no other notices or reminders in the station.

Challenge from the public

Prior to the introduction of 'women priority' carriages, the reports said such carriages could effectively reduce sexual harassment on the subway. According to the report, "opinion polls show that 81.9 percent of people think there is sexual harassment on the subway, and 21.6 percent think that sexual harassment frequently occurs. Collisions between passengers are unavoidable, which make passengers feel awkward."

But this argument soon sparked controversy. Some internet users pointed out that the fundamental solution to sexual harassment is to strengthen punitive measures, instead of isolating women. There are worries that setting up 'women priority' carriages will affect the overall delivery efficiency of the subway.

With more men using 'women priority' carriages, many have questioned the usefulness of such carriages. A male passenger said he did not notice the carriage was for women until he boarded it. “Everyone finds out that it is for women only after boarding it.” A number of female passengers said there is no time to look for the logo during the rush hour. Many females said they do not plan to take the carriages as there are more men than women in them.

Faced with this situation, people are asking whether 'women priority' carriage can guarantee female passengers' priority right to take subway. And whether men will be punished or dissuaded when they get into the special carriages.

Cultivating respect

According to a staff member of Shenzhen Metro Group, the reason for launching the 'women priority' carriage lies in a proposal submitted during the two sessions of Guangdong province this year by Su Zhongyang, a member of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of CPPCC. Su suggested setting up the 'women priority' carriage to provide women a safer travelling experience. In June 2017, the proposal was adopted by the Shenzhen metro and the Guangzhou metro, both of which have set up 'women priority' carriage on some of the lines.

Shenzhen metro staff said the 'women priority' carriage is not legally binding, and is not aimed at reducing sexual harassment, but to cultivate respect for women, and further improve behavior in Shenzhen.

The staff member said that the 'women priority' carriage is exclusively reserved for females.


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