South African Education Minister Calls for Women Only Train Cars

South African Education Minister Kader Asmal this week suggested that female-only train cars need to be created in order to reduce the level of violence directed at women on South Africa’s public transportation system.

Since the end of apartheid, South Africa has experienced a massive crime wave that has seen it lead the world in most violent crime statistics. The high crime rate has in turn led to vigilantism and other problems.

The BBC cites figures claiming that a woman in South Africa today is more likely to be raped than she is to learn to read. Officially, there were almost 25,000 rapes reported to police last year in South Africa, or one for approximately every 850 females.

To put these numbers in perspective, in the United States there are about 72 reported rapes per 100,000 females. In South Africa, that rate is almost 120 reported rapes per 100,000 females.

Several private rail companies in South Africa have already started running female-only train cars, and Asmal suggested that more are needed to protect women.


Female only trains for SA. The BBC, July 2, 2002.

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