Jeremy Corbyn's women-only carriages idea is 'apartheid', says Labour MP Geraint Davies

The suggestion was compared to racial segregation

Jon Stone
Thursday 27 August 2015 08:06
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Female passengers come out from a 'women only' carriage at a metro station in Tokyo, Japan
Female passengers come out from a 'women only' carriage at a metro station in Tokyo, Japan

Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion of trains having women-only carriages to reduce sexual harassment would amount to “apartheid”, a Labour MP has said.

Geraint Davies tweeted that the proposals would amount to “apartheid for women on our trains”, adding “no thanks”.

Mr Corbyn proposed a consultation on the arguments for and against the carriages, which exist in other countries including Japan, Mexico, and Brazil.

“Some women have raised with me that a solution to the rise in assault and harassment on public transport could be to introduce women only carriages,” he wrote.

“My intention would be to make public transport safer for everyone from the train platform, to the bus stop to on the mode of transport itself.

Jeremy Corbyn catching a train at King's Cross last week

“However, I would consult with women and open it up to hear their views on whether women-only carriages would be welcome - and also if piloting this at times and modes of transport where harassment is reported most frequently would be of interest.”

The idea was also suggested by junior Conservative transport minister Claire Perry last year.

The proposed measure was part of a range of ideas to “end street harassment”, including a 24-hour police hotline, public awareness programmes and new licencing requirements.

The carriages idea has been met with mixed reactions, with some campaigners saying it has worked in other countries and others suggesting it would be “admitting defeat” to the causes of harassment.

Mr Davies is a supporter of Mr Corbyn’s rival for the leadership of the party, Yvette Cooper.

Apartheid was a system of racial segregation in place in South Africa in 1994 in which black South Africans were excluded from the usually superior facilities enjoyed by white South Africans.

Voting in the Labour leadership contest is currently underway, with the results set to be announced at a special conference in September.

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