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24 Mai. 2023


Why Ukrzaliznytsia is launching women's compartments: reaction of Ukrainian citizens



Why Ukrzaliznytsia is launching women's compartments: reaction of Ukrainian citizens

The issue of women's safety while traveling is being actively discussed around the world, and Ukrzaliznytsia is joining the global "trend". Find out how the Ukrainian society reacted to the launch of women's compartments and the feasibility of such a decision

Book bus, train, and plane tickets to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world
Book bus, train, and plane tickets to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world

Today, the issue of safe travel is relevant all over the world, and women are actively fighting for the right to travel safely by public transport. Unfortunately, we all know examples of unacceptable and intrusive behavior of men and even attempts at rape in train cars.

What safety measures for women on trains are used around the world?

Most developed countries have long since introduced separate compartments and even carriages for women, both on domestic and international flights. 

Japan is an unprecedented leader in women's safety in public transportation. They have separate cars not only on intercity trains but also in the subway. Moreover, there are some buses in the country exclusively for women. Men with disabilities, as well as boys under 12 years old, can use "women's" public transport.

In addition, Mexico, Brazil, India, Turkey, and most European and Islamic countries in the Middle East have introduced separate compartments in trains and seats/cars in other transportation.

How has the issue of women's safety on trains been addressed in Ukraine before?

Ukrzaliznytsia has been trying to create "safe cars" for women's travel for years. The first attempts to introduce separate compartments were made back in 2010 on the Donetsk and Lviv railways. However, the idea did not catch on among the public. In addition, Ukrzaliznytsia faced the problem of determining a person's gender when buying tickets online and insufficient demand for the service. 

Another security measure was law enforcement officers on duty in train cars, but only until 2013. The function of ensuring law and order in public transport and train escorts by National Police officers was resumed only in 2020. There were two "pilot runs": from Mykolaiv to Rivne via Kyiv and from Odesa to moscow. The project was implemented on these two trains because they recorded the largest number of offenses. However, the development did not go further.

What does Ukrzaliznytsia offer today, and how can I buy tickets for a women's compartment?

According to Yevhen Liashchenko, Head of the UZ Department, the issues of changes in regulations and careful preparation of the technical base are urgent. This is necessary for the proper implementation of the "safe compartments" project. Representatives of Ukrzaliznytsia are actively discussing all the nuances with lawyers and international NGOs.

UZ relies more on international experience in women's safety on trains, but the management noted that other security measures are also being discussed, including video surveillance, panic buttons, and an alarm system.

The first pilot version will be tested on several long-distance trains for several months. Further scaling of the project depends on the demand for the service.

Tickets for women's compartments can be purchased in the Ukrzaliznytsia mobile application, which greatly simplifies the booking process and saves time.

Lyashchenko has not yet named the specific routes on which women's compartments will be launched. However, it is quite possible that one of the first to be launched will be international flights, which bring many foreigners to Ukraine, including volunteers, reporters, and tourists. 

It is important to recall that due to russia's armed aggression, traveling to Ukraine is fraught with many threats, and therefore it is necessary to take care of reliable health insurance and war risk insurance in advance, which guarantees a foreigner to receive quality medical care at no additional cost.

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The driving force: or why did Ukrainian women demand the introduction of a system of separate compartments?

Ukrainian women have repeatedly raised the issue of their own safety when traveling by public transport, including on social media. 

For example, the story of Anastasia Luhova, which happened in 2020, became the most publicized. She was injured and almost raped by a stranger on a train traveling from Mariupol to Kyiv. According to the victim, the man was not stopped by the presence of her 7-year-old son in the compartment, nor by the conductors. 

The attacker was detained, but he never served his sentence, as he died in jail the following April.

The next wave of discussions was sparked by another girl's post on Twitter, who felt unwell when she saw that she was forced to travel in a compartment with three men. This was the driving force that united women in a common problem. After all, each of them has faced fear at least once in their lives when traveling with strange men in public transportation.

So, after the second wave of discussions, a petition calling for the introduction of gender-specific cars, or at least separate compartments for women, appeared on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. As of today, it has collected more than 24 thousand votes. It should be noted that when the mark of 25,000 signatures is reached, the government must consider the citizens' appeal.

What was the reaction to Ukrzaliznytsia's statement from men and skeptics?

Some men reacted to the news ambiguously, noting that they did not like the idea that they were all listed as potential rapists. However, each of them agrees that the problem is indeed urgent and needs to be addressed.

At the same time, some participants noted that traveling will become safer, but this will not solve the global problem. After all, the possibility of sexualized harassment should be eradicated, not prevented. Thus, according to some panelists, mechanisms to combat harassment and measures to bring to justice those who committed the attacks, as well as those who ignored women's requests for help, should be implemented.

We remind you! Ukrzaliznytsia continues to actively develop international traffic with Europe. This makes it even easier and more convenient to get to or from Ukraine. We have collected all the current options for traveling by rail from Ukraine to 6 European countries and back by following the link.

We recommend purchasing it for a safe and comfortable trip to Ukraine: 

Visit Ukraine Insurance - safe travel in Ukraine (insurance covering military risks);

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book bus and train tickets to/from Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Tours - the largest online database of tours to Ukraine for every taste;

Visit Ukraine Hotels - book hotels for a comfortable stay in Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Merch - choose patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.

Cooperation - cooperation and advertising integrations with Visit Ukraine and Visit World projects.

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