Sunday, April 28, 2013

Women Only Buses To Launch

Say what you want about this move, whether it shows a lack of moral ethics or what have you in the society, I think this is actually a positive change in Egypt to at least give women the opportunity to travel with the worry of being groped - one major reason I avoid microbuses (well that and their erratic driving :p)


Egypt's moderate Islamist party has introduced a transportation facility only for women to curb sexual harassment.

Still in the experimental phase, the idea has been implemented in two areas in the city, Gulf News reports.

The microbus called 'transportation that respects women' picks up female students from in front of Cairo University and women from the corner of Abbas Al Aqqad Street, in the upper-middle class neighbourhood of Nasr City.

The strong Egypt party founder Fatma Badr who has taken the initiative of launching a safe transportation means for women, said that female commuters find it very difficult to travel safely, while making way into the crowd to find vacant seats, adding that the microbus will provide for a respectable and safe transportation service for women.

A government study at Cairo and Monufiya universities have shown that about 68 percent of the women have been subjected to physical and verbal harassment.

According to the report, while Egypt's first women-only taxi service that had started in July 2011 was welcomed by some, others said that this service encouraged more discrimination against women and proved them to be 'second-class citizens'.

The report further said that some women activists and university students have accepted and appreciated the female taxi service, where the taxi is driven by female drivers and caters to only the female commuters, who would otherwise find it very difficult to travel by a traditional private taxi.

While the female taxi service has proved to be a success in a number of Arab countries such as Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Lebanon, some women's groups, feel that the idea of women-only transport would bring about gender segregation.

The head of the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, Nehad Aboul Komsan has strongly criticized the women-only transport service concept, stating that the 'moving cages for women' would marginalize women in the patriarchal society and would prove to be detrimental to Egyptian women's progress so far in the position they have been striving to achieve, the report added.

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