The way to stop violence against women is to hold men accountable for their actions and build a society of tolerance and respect
Published 24 August 2017
Labour MP Chris Williamson's suggestion that women-only train carriages could help combat sexual assault on public transport is offensive and ill-informed. It accepts harassment and intimidation as a fact of life and fails to acknowledge the structural inequalities that must be tackled if we are to halt the epidemic of violence against women in the UK.
Williamson has missed the real issue: sexual assault is about men asserting power over women.
Sophie Walker, leader of the Women's Equality Party commented: 'Telling women to sit in female-only carriages excuses violence by men. It places the responsibility for avoiding violence on women. It fails to make men responsible for their actions. It casts violence against women on trains as a thing that happens on trains, and requires a train-specific response. It makes male violence small, and nothing to do with men.'
Walker added 'It’s not a stretch of the imagination to wonder how long before someone seriously suggests that women shouldn’t go out at all. We have to hold men accountable for their actions. We have to build a society based on tolerance, respect and consent in which men and women have equal choices.'