5-speed listening (Level 6)

Women-only train cars starting in Germany



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A train operator in Germany is launching a women and children only service on its trains. The initiative for the segregated carriages is an attempt to help women feel safer. There will be two specialised compartments on all of the company's trains that run between the cities of Leipzig and Chemnitz. The carriages will be located next to the one in which the train conductor is situated. The new carriages are causing quite a stir in Germany. Some people on social media are suggesting the move is a reaction to an increase in reported incidents of sexual harassment and assault in Germany. Rail executives stress this is not the case, but is instead a new policy aimed at increasing security for women and children.

The use of women-only carriages on trains is not new. There have been dedicated cars on trains in many other countries for decades. In Japan, such carriages were first introduced in 1912. Last year there was a call from Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition party to the government in Britain to re-introduce such carriages. British trains used to have 'Ladies Only' carriages up until 1977. Mr Corbyn's comments resulted in a backlash from female politicians. His colleague Yvette Cooper observed that while sexual harassment and violence against women was a serious issue, women-only carriages were not the answer. Cooper said the move would be, "turning the clock back and not tackling the problem".

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