The first coach in all Delhi Metros has been made a womens-only coach. I find this step regressive. Segregating people in Delhi Metro coaches based on gender will only throw us back in endeavours towards greater gender equality and gender sensitivity issues.

Travelling in a Metro these days is a strange experience with only men all around. There is a strange kind of uncomfortable energy in the coaches. In my observation of travelling for 4 weeks with mixed gender coaches, the men have been more conscious and acceptable to women around. More and more people in Metros are making stubborn men who refuse to get up from ladies’ seats, actually get up – by shaming them or even sometimes using a bit of force. Men have become a lot more courteous.

Moving to a women’s only coach is certainly regressive, and reminiscent of my utter shock and horror on seeing a women’s only park during a visit to Dubai a few years back.

If women (and old men) need to be made more comfortable in the Metro, an alternate would be to reserve *all seats* in two of the four coaches, for women and elderly men. Let the men stand, and become more courteous by rule of (metro) law.

Other than this making travel for women more comfortable, this would ensure that gender sensitivity goals are furthered in a big way. Besides, more people would be able to travel in each run, as the Women coach is not even 30% of capacity most often.

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