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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.

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.

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 Food & Drinks

Tianjin Restaurant Introduces “Meal Boxes for Women”

The special lunch boxes for women were introduced after female customers had too much leftover rice.

Manya Koetse

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China’s anti food waste campaign, that was launched earlier this month, is still in full swing and noticeable on China’s social media where new iniatives to curb the problem of food loss are discussed every single day.

Today, the hashtag “Tianjin Restaurant Launches Special Female Meal Boxes” (#天津一饭店推出女版盒饭#) went trending with some 130 million views on Weibo, with many discussions on the phenomenon of gender-specific portions. The restaurant claims its special ‘female lunch boxes’ are just “more suitable for women.”

According to Tonight News Paper (今晚报), the only difference their reporter found between the “meals for women” and the regular meals, is the amount of rice served. Instead of 275 grams of rice, the ‘female edition’ of the restaurant’s meals contain 225 grams of rice.

The restaurant, located on Shuangfeng Road, decided to introduce special female lunch boxes after discovering that the female diners of the offices they serve usually leave behind much more rice than their male customers.

The restaurant now claims they expect to save approximately 10,000 kilograms of rice on an annual basis by serving their meals based on gender.

On Chinese social media, the initiative was heavily criticized. Weibo netizens wondered why the restaurant would not just offer “bigger” and “smaller” lunch boxes instead of introducing special meals based on gender.

“There are also women who like to eat more, what’s so difficult about changing your meals to ‘big’ and ‘small’ size?”, a typical comment said: “Some women eat a lot, some men don’t.”

Many people called the special meals for women sex discrimination and also wanted to know if there was a difference in price between the ‘female’ and ‘male’ lunch boxes.

There are also female commenters on Weibo who claim they can eat much more than their male colleagues. “Just give me the male version,” one female user wrote: “I’ll eat that meal instead.”

This is the second time this month that initiatives launched in relation to China’s anti food waste campaign receive online backlash.

A restaurant in Changsha triggered a storm of criticism earlier this month after placing two scales at its entrance and asking customers to to enter their measurements into an app that would then suggest menu items based on their weight. The restaurant later apologized for encouraging diners to weigh themselves.

By Manya Koetse

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©2020 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

15-Year-Old Girl Jumps to Death in Sichuan, Kills Father Who Tried to Catch Her

The tragic incident has stirred a flood of comments on Weibo.

Manya Koetse

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After the shocking death of a 2-year-old boy went viral in China earlier today, another tragic story is again top trending on social media.

On August 22, authorities in the city of Luzhou in Sichuan stated that on Saturday morning 10:30 a 15-year-old girl jumped from the 25th floor of an apartment building.

The girl’s father, a 42-year-old man, attempted to catch his daughter and break her fall. Both father and daughter were killed in the incident.

The hashtag “Father killed while trying to catch daughter who jumped off a building” (#父亲欲接坠楼女儿被砸身亡#) received over 460 million views on Weibo on Saturday, with thousands of people discussing the tragic event.

Bystander footage of the scene shows (blurred, viewer discretion advised) how people are screaming in horror when the girl jumps to her death.

The case is currently still under investigation.

Among the flood of comments, there are many who are worried about the mother in this family and offer their condolences: “She must be in so much pain.”

Some also ponder over the terrible predicament of the girl’s father and a dad’s love for his daughter, writing things such as: “He just relied on his instincts to step forward and open his arms.”

There are also many people reflecting on the stress experienced by young people in China, school pressure being a major issue, leading to self-harm or suicide. According to a 2017 news report, suicide is the leading cause of death among young Chinese people.

“I can understand both the daughter and the father,” some say: “I can feel the pain in my heart.”

 

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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