Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn suggested on Tuesday that he would be open to implementing women-only train carriages in an attempt to protect women from sexual harassment on public transport.
The proposals comes just a week after the British Transport Police revealed a 25 percent rise in sexual offences on trains and at stations, some 1,400 of which were recoded by the unit in the 2014-15 period.
Praising the work of campaigns like Everyday Sexism, while crowdsources women’s experiences of sexism online, and Stop Street Harassment, the North Islington MP condemned the frequency of street harassment as “unacceptable”.
“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 carriage,” he said in a statement.
“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.”
Corbyn added that this would be done in consultation with women, suggesting pilots could go ahead at peak times harassment is reported.
Commenting on the move, Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, who chairs Parliament’s Health Committee, tweeted: “Segregating women on public transport doesn’t protect anyone, it just normalises unacceptable attitudes.”
The last time Britain ran women-only train carriages was in 1977, though the policy is practised in Japan, India and Mexico, among other countries.
Other measures outlined by Corbyn, who pollsters believe will be appointed leader of the Labour party on September 12th, include a dedicated 24/7 police hotline run by women, awareness campaigns on billboards and TV, and the creation of cabinet positions for women’s safety in local councils.
Image Credit – First Capital Connect by Peter Skuce