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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 Local News

China’s Shulan City in “Wartime Mode” after Recording 13 COVID-19 Infections

Local authorities announced a “wartime mode” lockdown due to 13 new local coronavirus cases in Shulan.

Manya Koetse

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The city of Shulan in China’s Jilin Province is top trending on Chinese social media today after local authorities announced a “wartime mode” lockdown due to 13 new local coronavirus cases.

These are the first local infections in the entire province after a period of 73 days, China News reports, with other previous cases all being infections from abroad.

Last week, on May 7th, a female resident was the first to be tested positive for COVID-19. The city in northeast China is now the only place in the PRC to be marked as “high risk.”

One page on social media platform Weibo dedicated to the topic of Shulan going into “wartime mode” (“战时状态”) had received over 190 million views by Monday evening local time.

What does this “wartime mode” entail?
– All residents stay home, lockdown of residential compounds
– All public places closed
– Schools closed
– All public transportation suspended
– No more selling of fever-reducing medicine in clinics or stores

According to CGTN, a total of 290 people who have been in close contact with the infected patients have been traced and placed under medical observation.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
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China Local News

On Wuhan’s ‘Reopening Day’, Even Traffic Jams Are Celebrated

As the COVID-19 lockdown has ended in Wuhan, many people are happy to see the city’s traffic finally getting busy again. “I hated traffic jams before, now it makes me happy to see them.”

Manya Koetse

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It was chilly and grey in Wuhan when the coronavirus epicenter city went into a full lockdown on January 23 of this year. On April 8, 76 days later, it is sunny and twenty degrees warmer outside as people leave their homes to resume work or go for a stroll.

The end of the Wuhan lockdown is a special day for many, as the city finally lifted the 11-week-long ban that shut down all travel to and from the city in a radical effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, city residents returned to work as public transport started again. Roads, bridges, and tunnels were reopened, and the local airport resumed flights.

On Chinese social media, various hashtags relating to the Wuhan lockdown end have become popular topics. Using hashtags such as “Wuhan Lifts the Ban” (#武汉解封#), “Wuhan Open Again after 76 Days” (#武汉暂停76天后重启#), and “Wuhan Reopens” (#武汉重启#), the end of the coronavirus ban is a much-discussed news item, along with the spectacular midnight light show that was organized to celebrate the city’s reopening.

The Wuhan lightshow, image via Xinhua.

“Today has finally arrived! It’s been difficult for the people of Wuhan,” some commenters write.

According to China’s official statistics, that are disputed, over 3330 people have died from the new coronavirus since its outbreak; 80% of these fatal cases were reported in Wuhan. On April 6, authorities claimed that for the first time since the virus outbreak, there were zero new COVID-19 deaths.

Some state media, including People’s Daily, report that the reopening of restaurants and food shops is going smoothly in the city, as people – for the first time since January – are back to buying pan-fried dumplings and noodles from their favorite vendors.

Meanwhile, the fact that the traffic in some Wuhan areas is back to being somewhat congested is something that is widely celebrated on social media.

Some call the mild traffic congestions “great”, viewing it as a sign that the city is coming back to life again after practically turning into a ghost town for all these weeks.

“I hated traffic jams before, now it makes me happy to see them,” one Weibo commenter writes.

“I won’t complain about congested traffic again, because it’s a sign the streets are flourishing,” another Weibo user posted.

While netizens and media outlets are celebrating the end of the lockdown, several Chinese media accounts also remind people on social media that although the ban has been lifted, people still need to be vigilant and refrain from gathering in groups and standing close to each other.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
Follow @whatsonweibo

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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