25/08/2017 10:53 BST | Updated 25/08/2017 10:53 BST

Women Only Carriages - Good Or Bad?

Women only carriages - is this what our nation has come to? That we have to segregate people like we are in prison, just to keep to be safe?

The BBC reported that Mr Williamson, MP for Derby North, highlighted figures from the British Transport Police, showing 1,448 sexual offences on trains had been reported in 2016-17, compared with 650 incidents in 2012-13 - it's over double.

Jeremy Corbyn first suggested this policy during his leadership campaign back in 2015, but it was dropped as it didn't have much support. In a poll that was taken, apparently, 1 in 4 Britons said they were in favour of women only carriages.

Having women only carriages doesn't actually mean segregating every train user like the media might have you believe.

It's not permanently keeping people apart but just to provide one carriage on the train where women can go to feel safe if they want to. It's not really pointing the finger saying all men are evil and need to be away from women but it does make me wonder where the men can go to feel safe, because not all of the offences reported were by women of course and I don't think we'd even better get into the gender discussion here.

I asked a few people how they felt about women only carriages. One thought that it would be great for her daughter who has had experiences where she felt stalked or googled at and unsafe. Another lady said that she did not want to go back to the dark ages and I really agree.

In the 1800's we did have women only compartments in the UK and it actually continued in some parts of London and Essex until 1977! That is a bit shocking!

We would all like to be able to feel safe while travelling - I personally prefer to get an earlier train or a cab if out late at night. However, segregation doesn't seem to be the answer to me. It seems like if we do this we are accepting that sexual assault or harassment happens and that we can do nothing to stop it, it's like taking a step back for women.

Where does this segregation lead to? Waiting for a train, women only waiting rooms? Harassment at work - women only offices? Women only buses?

Do I sound like I'm talking crazy now, well wait for it...

Maajid Nawaz spoke out about women only carriages on LBC saying "What's next browns-only carriages" following the rise in racially related violence on trains.

He has a point, just ridiculous.

What we need is to make public transport safer for everyone how can we do this - more available CCTV? More guards? More police presence and more of a deterrent with harsher prosecutions. There has to be a better way.

And before all that maybe we need to teach people empathy, love and how to actually respect each other. Is that possible at all?

Author Michelle Harris runs the Digital and Social Media Management Agency


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