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Shenzhen to Launch China’s First Women-Only Subway Cars

Shenzhen is going to run a trial with women-only subway cars for the convenience and safety of female passengers. On Weibo, many netizens do not agree with the plan to segregate male and female passengers.

Qing Yan

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Shenzhen is going to run a trial with women-only subway cars for the convenience and safety of female passengers. On Weibo, many netizens do not agree with the plan to segregate male and female passengers.

Shenzhen is introducing China’s first women-only subway cars. A standing member of the city’s municipal committee confirmed the new measure recently, NetEase reports. Two to three operating lines will be picked out for trial rides before wider implementation. The train carriages will only be ‘women-only’ within the busiest hours. Beyond these hours, male passengers are also free to enter these trains.

The decision follows a proposal by Guangdong’s Political Consultative member Su Zhongyang (苏忠阳) titled “Regarding Setting up Women-Only Carriages on Guangzhou’s Metro Lines” (关于广州地铁设立女性专用车厢) which pointed out that female passengers are more vulnerable to sexual harassment or inappropriate situations in overcrowded trains during peak hours.

“There may be too many people inside a train during rush hour, making body contact between passengers inevitable. This can be tricky as it might instigate sexual harassment,” Su Zhongyang noted. In addition to his role in politics, Su is also the president of a local company in Guangzhou.

The proposal mentions a recent poll in which 81.9% of respondents believed that sexual harassment occurs on the metro. 21.6% believed it occurs frequently. “The issue is more serious during Guangzhou’s summer, ” Su said: “During the long summers many women wear shorts and are more vulnerable to sexual harassment.”

But the reality seems to paint a much milder picture. According to the statistic from Guangzhou Public Security Bureau, a total of 74 cases of sexual harassment have been reported from 2015 up to the present. The crime rates at Guangzhou’s metro stations have been the lowest of all members in CoMET* for many years. (*CoMET: Community of Metro, a global organization joined by 32 major metro operators worldwide.)

The majority of Chinese netizens also did not seem to agree with Su’s stance. On Weibo, an online poll by China News Service showed that 59.7% of respondents opposed the measure, saying it goes against gender equality and is a form of sex-based discrimination.

“What’s next? Should we tell women not to leave the house in order to protect their safety?”, one netizen wondered. “Segregating women from men is not the way to solve the problem of sexual harassment,” others said.

Many commenters did say the subway should have a special space for pregnant women, as entering an overcrowded carriage with a big belly might be risky for them.

Another issue that is highlighted, is that the women-only carriages might lead to a waste of traffic resources. Guangzhou subway staff told Chinese media that creating “women-only trains” does not necessarily mean that all female passengers will choose to ride them. Because male passengers will not enter them during peak hours, it might lead to more congestion in other carriages.

Despite ongoing criticism, Wang Rong, the Chairman of Guangdong’s Political Consultative Conference, is optimistic about the initiative: “Adding women-only carriages will have a significant impact on issues such as public transport and citizens’ rights. And, most importantly, it may help to boost the image of our city – it shows our care for humanity and for a civilized society.”

By Qing Yan

Edited by Manya Koetse.
©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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Qing Yan is a Shanghai-based copywriter and analyst, specialized in Chinese marketing and luxury brands. Besides his expertise in marketing analysis, Zhejiang-born Qing is a bilingual reporter with a focus on Chinese history, culture, and politics.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ed Sander

    June 10, 2017 at 5:55 am

    “But the reality seems to paint a much milder picture. According to the statistic from Guangzhou Public Security Bureau, a total of 74 cases of sexual harassment have been reported from 2015 up to the present.”

    That does not prove that it does not happen. Perhaps the women are too ashamed to report the occurrences or they think that reporting it will not help anyway.

    Seperating male and females is however a dumb solution because it does not solve the cause of the problem.

    Ed

  2. Avatar

    Bailey

    June 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    The subway cars will be ‘female priority,’ not ‘female only.’ Men will be allowed to enter if there’s room left over in the cars. I’m not sure where the last two sentences in the first paragraph of this article came from, but it’s not any official source I’ve read.

    For reference: http://www.sznews.com/news/content/2017-06/08/content_16400604.htm

    • Avatar

      admin

      June 13, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Bailey,we will check again with the author. But various sources say that the cars will be “women only” (or as you say “women priority” 女性专用) during peak hours (“对于这样做可能增加地铁运行成本的担忧,苏忠阳介绍,高峰期时将列车一节车厢临时设为女性车厢,这样设计不需要增加任何费用,仅需在电子屏上显示提醒,增加女性乘客的选择”) and not outside of the peak hours. http://www.sohu.com/a/147587625_123753

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China Insight

Exchange Student to Be Deported from China for Harassing Young Woman at University

An exchange student studying at the Hebei University of Engineering has been expelled and will soon be deported after harassing a female student.

Manya Koetse

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An exchange student from Pakistan who was studying at the Hebei University of Engineering (河北工程大学) has been expelled and detained after harassing a female student at the same university.

The incident, that is attracting much attention on Chinese social media this week, adds to the wave of recent controversies over the behavior and status of overseas students in mainland China.

On July 31, a female student at the Hebei university filed a police report against a Pakistani student who allegedly harassed her and attempted to forcefully kiss her and touch her breasts.

Screenshots of a supposed WeChat conversation between the exchange student and the female student, in which the man apologizes and claims the interaction is a “requirement for friendship,” are being shared on social media.

According to various reports, the police initially tried to mediate between the two students, which the female student refused.

Together with the school principal, the police then further investigated the case and found ample evidence of harassment after examining the university’s surveillance system.

On August 1st, the Hebei University of Engineering announced that they had expelled the student and that he will be deported from China. The announcement received more than 14,000 reactions and 150,000 ‘likes’ on Weibo.

The student is now detained at the local Public Security Bureau and is awaiting his deportation.

A photo of two officers together with a man in front of the detention center in Handan is circulating on social media in relation to this incident.

At time of writing, the hashtag page “Exchange Student to Be Deported after Molesting Female Student” (#留学生猥亵女学生将被遣送出境#) has been viewed over 310 million times on Weibo.

Among thousands of reactions, there are many who praise the Hebei university for supporting the female student after she reported the exchange student to the police.

“This may not be the best university, but at least they stand behind their students!”, some say, with others calling the university “awesome.”

Many say that the Hebei university should serve as an example for other Chinese universities to follow, with Shandong University being specifically mentioned by Weibo users.

Shandong University was widely criticized earlier this summer for its “buddy exchange program,” which was accused of being a way to arrange Chinese “girlfriends” for male foreign students.

Another incident that is mentioned in relation to this trending story is that of an exchange student who displayed aggressive behavior towards a Chinese police officer in July of this year. The student was not punished for his actions, which sparked anger on Chinese social media.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Local News

Holiday Homework: Take a Picture with Five Foreigners

Is “take a photo with a foreigner” an appropriate homework assignment? This Zhuhai school teacher thinks it is.

Manya Koetse

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Photo via yidianzixun.com

An elementary school in Guangdong’s Zhuhai city has become a target of online banter this week for a special holiday homework assignment given to its pupils.

The school’s English teacher told students to take a picture with five foreigners this holiday. The pupils’ parents were not too happy with this ‘homework’ and questioned its purpose and validity.

In the eyes of many netizens, the assignment is inappropriate as it supposedly teaches pupils to look up to (or ‘worship’) foreigners.

Others think the assignment is simply not practical, saying that Zhuhai does not have that many foreigners walking around and that not all foreigners speak English.

With over 110 million views on the hashtag “Holiday Homework to Take Photo with Five Foreigners” (#暑假作业与五个外国人合影#), the topic has blown up on Weibo.

“Just take a photo with the neighbor and tell them they’re from Singapore,” some people suggested: “Take some photos with Chinese people and say they were from South Korea!”

In an online poll about the issue, initiated by China Daily, nearly 65% of respondents said they did not agree with the assignment.

The school principal responded to the controversy, saying that the assignment was an “optional” one.

The class head also stated that the assignment was not obligatory, but that it was merely meant as an “encouragement” so that students could practice their conversational English by having a short conversation with a foreigner.

Many commenters side with school and condemn all the criticism and banter: “Of course an English teacher would want to tell its pupils to interact with foreigners in English!”

Another person mentions that many Chinese students have high grades in their English exams without actually being able to hold a conversation in English: “Our English education is not focused enough on speaking English.”

“This teaches students to take the initiative to start a conversation in English, what’s not good about it? You’re all too sensitive!”

By Manya Koetse , with contributions from Miranda Barnes

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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