Tuesday 23 May 2017

Women-only train carriages launched

Indonesian women aboard a women-only carriage of a commuter train near Jakarta (AP)
Indonesian women aboard a women-only carriage of a commuter train near Jakarta (AP)
Indonesian women board a women-only carriage of a commuter train near Jakarta (AP)
Indonesian state-run train operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia decided to set aside two cars for women only (AP)

A commuter train with two women-only carriages has received an enthusiastic welcome after the service was launched in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

Leaning back in a soft, pink-cushioned seat, student Wiwit Wahyuningsih, 19, said: "Especially during morning and evening rush hours, it's very common to be harassed or touched by men, intentional or not."

Indonesia, a secular nation home to the world's largest Muslim population, is often held up as a beacon of modernity. Women wearing headscarves can be seen walking alongside friends in shorts in glitzy shopping malls.

But the state-run train operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia decided to set aside two cars in an eight-coach commuter train that runs between the capital and suburbs after being flooded by letters of complaint from women.

"We need to protect them," said Makmur Syaheran, a spokesman for the company, adding that if the service is a success, it could eventually be expanded to other trains.

Women packed into the train, quickly filling up the 58 seats in each of the two male-free cars.

Asmawati, an acupuncturist, said she was impressed.

"It feels so relaxed, I love it," said the 41-year-old. "Clean, air conditioned, no one bothers you ... I hope they keep it up."

Indonesia is not the first Asian country to offer same-sex carriages. Neighbouring Malaysia recently reserved several pink coaches for women. Japan has offered the service during morning rush hour for years. And in India, female passengers have entire trains to themselves.

Press Association

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News