Metro Ladies Coach ! Is it Good?? Gender divide can ruin generations by raising hostility and mistrust amongst men and women.. Say no to Gender Segregation.

Yesterday I was travelling in the Delhi Metro and out of habit got into the ladies compartment. Lot of seats were vacant and I sat down comfortably. As we kept moving from station to station I was enjoying the view and the ride. As usual the women’s bogie was full of chatter and happy faces.

ladies coach metro
Ladies coach in metro train meant exclusively for women

As the train was about to leave the Saket station 3 people rushed in almost running. A foreign couple and an Indian Man. They saw some empty seats and took them. Immediately the Security people came and asked them rather rudely to move to other compartments as this was a ladies coach. The Indian man quickly left but the foreign couple had a really bewildered look on their faces.

Firstly I think they were rather shocked by the rude tone and secondly the concept of Gender Segregation was alien to them. In any case they moved on to the next coach.

Once I started seeing the situation from their perspective I felt this kind of separate ladies coach though, perhaps a need of the times, was a rather primitive dark ages kind of a concept.

 

I also began to realise that this kind of separation of genders can only strengthen gender stereotypes and in some ways hostility amongst genders leading to unhappiness for both. It also amounts to promoting inequality amongst men and women, again not good for happiness.

I decided to go ahead and talk to this British couple and gather what they thought of this arrangement. So I walked into their coach and sat next to them and said hello. If they were surprised they did not show it.

I asked them what they thought about this separate arrangement for women. The guy said it’s very surprising considering in India women have been Prime Minister, President,  Judges , writers , army officers and so on. He further said that he was unable to figure out what purpose it served. The more divide you create the more trouble is building up to happen.

Then he asked me a question which got me. He said but why this segregation is needed at all? Is it cultural requirement or a religious requirement? I was foxed! I said it’s really a safety requirement.

news ladies coach
Why women feel unsafe in co gender metro coaches? Such incidents happen and create insecurity!

The Lady was aghast she said you mean women are that unsafe here? And does this make them safe? What happens when they step out of the ladies coach? Do you also have all women roads, and markets and offices?

Frankly I had no answer. She had a point. Why is there a requirement in my country at all to make women SAFE in bits and pieces by restricting co gender spaces? Is this really a solution or a bigger problem in the making?

What are we doing wrong? Why women need to be so cautious and wary of the men?

The answer is not simple and is deeply rooted in the way we bring up our boys. How come we fail to tell them what respect for women means, in fact what respect to another human being means? It is really a matter of great shame that women need to avoid total contact even eye contact with men to feel safe.

Every time I bring up the topic of upbringing many people turn around and say see the mother did not teach anything. Invariably upbringing is linked with the mother only (Another gender stereotype). Everybody forgets the role model that the father was providing. If your son sees that women of the family being treated like second grade citizens and objects he will do the same irrespective of what you tell him. So upbringing by parents and the rest of the family is very crucial.

Secondly have you ever wondered who teaches our kids about relationships? Nobody! And we limit their learning about relationships by restricting interaction with other gender thereby rendering them incapable of having healthy relations with the other gender. And then we come to a situation of gender segregation.

It’s time we game up these short term measures to deal with an issue which requires total attitudinal change. Otherwise we are creating a phenomenon of gender misunderstandings that can  a very seriously compromise the happiness of our younger generations.

So let’s move away from ladies coach to all coaches being safe, from avoiding men to integrating them in the safe atmosphere for women.

May be its time for a Men’s revolution movement much like it happened for women in the 70’s. to be able to move to safer society.

Say no to Gender Segregation for greater happiness and better relations.

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