An original translation by Nash Montana with much thanks
In order for women and girls to feel safe from sexual harassment, the Regensburg City council is discussing specially designed “Lady Zones” in its city busses. They are also imagining “Women only Taxis”.
Christian Janele of the Christian-Socialist (CSB) had turned in an application in November of 2015 – before the mass sexual assaults in Cologne took place. The city planning commission will discuss this issue on Tuesday.
Janele says that many citizens had expressed their concerns with him: “How will my daughter, how will my wife arrive home safely in the evenings?” These fears among the citizenry have to be taken seriously. Markings on the bus floors could establish safe zones, in which only women and children are allowed to be in. Additionally there should be offered women only taxis in which women drivers will bring female passengers to their destinations – and the city will subsidize the taxi fares. Heidelberg has had a similar project ongoing for years, says Janele.
It doesn’t have to be pink
On the social network Facebook, the Christian-Socialists have published a photo montage with a pink “Lady Zone” in a public bus. But the post adds that the safety zone doesn’t have to be pink. Any other color would be possible as well.
Janele rejects the fact that his “Lady Zones” could bear any reminiscence on the US-segregation against black people where they were made to sit in the back of the bus. For him it is solely about “that women feel unsafe on busses”. And the same goes for senior citizens, he adds.
Transportation Authority not particularly fond of the idea
Special markings on the floors of busses are easy to apply with minimal effort – and only need to be effective at night. “During the day this topic is irrelevant.”
But the Regensburg Transportation Authority (RVV) doesn’t think much about these ideas. “There really is no necessity in that regard. We don’t have problems in that matter”, says the manager, Kai Müller-Eberstein.
An overall strategy is needed against sexualized violence
The Federal Association of Women’s Advisory and Women’s Emergency Services says: “Of course women only spaces such as Taxis and parking places could be a sensible measure for women to feel more safe in public spaces.”
But spokeswoman Katja Grieger also points out that such demands could also derail the debate in the wrong direction: “Studies show us unanimously that most assaults take place in the most near social settings and that the actual crime scene often turns out to be the place where the victim lives. There is a societal overall strategy needed against sexualized violence, no matter where it happens.”
Assaults are a topic elsewhere as well
Sexual harassment and assaults in public transportation vehicles is a topic again and again. For instance the Paris local traffic enterprise RATP is starting a campaign against verbal harassment in busses, metro trains and streetcars. In a survey 71% of the women asked, reported to have been victims of sexual harassment in public transportation at least once.
And in Vienna the city council has published behavioral tips for women: “When you are waiting at a stop, it can be sensible to stand with your back against a wall or to be near other people.” Another suggestion: Women should sit next to the driver or in a car with multiple other passengers when riding a bus, a tram or a subway at night.
I think it’s a great idea, because nuances in colors will definitely deter criminals. In fact, there should be more: There should be blue seats on which one is not allowed to steal, green seats on which one is not allowed to beat others up and so on. Teach those rapefugees the law in the most uncomfortable way possible. Everything else is nonsense.]
I believe tactically speaking, what this government is actually going to do, is create a target rich environment for those looking to attack women as they clearly do not care about laws with alleged consequences, or at least do for the indigenous Europeans, so putting all the women in a chartreuse or salmon zone on a bus is a little like putting you money in an open bank drawer with no guards or doors]