The London Assembly has dismissed the notion of female-only train and tube carriages on TfL trains.
Deputy Mayor of London and Conservative MP for Kensington, Victoria Borwick, who proposed the motion to dismiss female-only carriages as an option, said on Tuesday:
While we need to look at ways to deter sex offences and bring perpetrators to justice, separating women on public transport is not the answer. We’re not a country that believes in segregation, we believe in equality.
We don’t separate people on grounds of disability or race, so why on gender. I hope the whole Assembly unites to show that we’re against this archaic suggestion.
The motion said:
This Assembly would not support any proposal for female only train carriages on TfL trains. The idea amounts to nothing more than gender segregation and does nothing to address any of the issues of sexual harassment. Everyone should feel safe on TfL trains - isolating women and treating them as the problem is not the answer.
The motion was agreed unanimously by assembly members.
The idea of women-only carriages hit the headlines in August after being discussed by Islington North MP and Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn, in a policy statement.
The statement read:
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. 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.
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.
Carriages only for women were abolished on British Rail trains in 1977, having been introduced in 1874.
In July 2014, Thailand re-launched women and children only carriages in train routes nationwide following public concern over the rape and murder of a thirteen year old girl on an overnight train.