Are Germany’s Women-Only Train Cars A Step In The Right Direction?

Germany might introduce gender segregated train carriages to ensure safety for females, but is this promoting gender discrimination?

While the world — or a segment of it, at least — fights against gender pay gap and strives for equal rights, a private Germany railway company is considering introducing women’s-only carriages.

This will be the first of its kind to come to Europe, although some of them already exist in Egypt and Malaysia, among a few other countries.

These carriages will be in service on trains commuting between Leipzig and Chemnitz. A company spokesperson claims this move has nothing to do with sexual assaults, but is actually an initiative toward making women feel safer and more welcome to ride on trains.

Although the plan has been introduced for the benefit of females using trains in Europe, people are calling it out on social media while questioning the company’s motives behind the initiative.






People see multiple issues at play. For instance, Germany has long battled a rape culture that keeps most victims silent, and just on New Year's Eve a large number of women were assaulted at the main train station in Cologne.

Moreover, the recent surge in the number of refugees entering the country and the rise in terrorist attacks in Europe have discouraged women from using train services.

Since more people around the world are working toward gender-inclusive societies and integration everyone into shared spaces, people feel the company’s plan is moving away from the goal.

"In the long term, we need to work on facilitating integration and cannot deviate from our aim to reach a gender-inclusive society," Konstanze Morgenroth, the regional representative for equality-related issue, said. "In such a society we don't need special shelters for women."

Interestingly, even though people interviewed by the radio station admitted that they did not feel safe on trains, they also stated that this method of segregation was not the best way to deal with the situation. 

Although there is no correct answer to the dilemma, the train company feels its acting in the best interest of women customers. People who do not agree with the measures always have the choice to travel in the regular carriages, as this facility is specifically for those who feel uncomfortable getting onto a gender-neutral carriage.