A Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of 1, female travelers in Tokyo, London, New York City, Cairo and Mexico City found less than half supported women-only sections on trains and buses to boost safety. But nearly 70 percent of women in Tokyo backed the single-sex carriages introduced in the city in to combat a phenomenon commonly known as chikan, or groping, on trains. More than half of women surveyed in the city said safety was their top transport concern, but seven in 10 were confident they could now travel without being subjected to sexual harassment or violence. Women in Cairo and Mexico City also said safety was their biggest concern about using public and private transport, and 60 percent and 55 percent respectively said women-only sections on trains and buses would improve safety. But less than 30 percent of women were in favor of women-only carriages in New York and London, where the time and cost of travel were seen as more pressing issues than safety.
An illustration of the various types of sexual harassers preying on women on public transportation in Japan went viral last month, shortly after a video and a string of stories highlighted the pervasive groping and molesting that female passengers are forced to endure on a daily basis. The drawing, posted on Twitter on May 29, has been retweeted 43, times and prompted online users to share their stories of sexual harassment. Nago told the France 24 Observers in a written statement that people in Japan were not sufficiently aware about the rampant harassment. Sex crimes happen every day, but public awareness is low.
Almost two decades after the introduction of women-only train carriages, female commuters in Japan are turning to technology to tackle molesters on packed rush-hour trains. The Tokyo metropolitan police department recorded almost cases of groping and other forms of harassment on trains and subways in the capital in Groping is a perennial problem on Japanese public transport, particularly on packed rush-hour trains, when identifying the culprit can be difficult. The potential sentence rises to 10 years if violence or threats are involved.
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