Sui-Lee Wee and Giulia Marchi for The New York Times report:
In one of China’s biggest cities, the women-only subway cars are full of men.
Based on a proposal from a member of a key political advisory body to the ruling Communist Party, the effort was launched to push the concept of “caring for women and respecting women.” Ye Zichuan, the head of Guangzhou Metro’s publicity department, stressed that the cars were labeled for women but not “only for women.” He said that there was no legal basis to segregate passengers by force.
Female commuters in China have long complained that some men take advantage of the packed trains to cop a quick feel. More than half of women surveyed by the state-run China Youth Daily newspaper in 2015 said they had experienced “inappropriate touching” on public transportation in China.
“On the surface, it looks like the women-only subway cars are meant to protect women,” she said, “but the effect is that women are told that they have to stay in one place in order to avoid getting sexually harassed.”