Privately owned German railway company Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn announced this month that it’d be introducing women-only train cars on its trains running between Leipzig and Chemnitz. While cities in many countries — including Japan, Brazil, and India — have long had women-only train cars, this would be the first example of such a measure in a European country since the U.K. halted its use of ladies train cars in 1977.
Though the thought of commuting to work on the NYC subway every day without having men leering at us is too wonderful to even compute, the German rail company has received a great deal of backlash for its decision. Many believe the choice was made in response to a series of sexual assaults that occurred at the main train station in Cologne, raising flags about the right-wing fear of migrants. (Though a spokesperson for the company said it had nothing to do with the assaults.)
One man, an equality representative in the area, was quoted on local radio as saying, “In the long term, we need to work on facilitating integration and cannot deviate from our aim to reach a gender-inclusive society,” with other critics in Europe claiming this measure could be seen as patronizing to women.