Apparently taking tips from the Shanghai Metro’s Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, Beijing police and public transport authorities have published guidelines to prevent the sexual harassment of women on buses and subways, including the advisement for women “not to wear minimal clothing” and to cover their bodies with “bags, magazines and newspapers”. Yes, really.
The guideline was posted on the Beijing Police bureau’s micro blog, according to China Daily:
The guideline, published by the traffic department under the Beijing Public Security Bureau on Monday, says women should not wear minimal clothing, such as mini skirts or hot pants when taking public transportation and should call police promptly if they are sexually harassed.
Women are advised to not sit on higher levels of buses and to stand on lower stairs, to avoid being the target of inappropriate picture-taking, and they should shelter their bodies with bags, magazines and newspapers.
The guideline, asking women to “be informed to increase awareness for protection,” also said that women can move to more crowded areas to ask for help, or they can “push men as buses and subways brake”.
“It is hard for us to collect evidence in sexual harassment cases despite cameras on buses and subways,” Xing Wei, a Beijing police officer, said. “It is also difficult to train public transportation workers to assist women in harassment prevention and response”
Wang Jiansheng, director of the security department with the Fourth Transport Company under Beijing Pulbic Transport Holdings Ltd, also advised that the “best safety method” is to ask conductors to remind women to protect themselves rather than establish a rule.
Yes. That is the best method. Yes.
“When a woman informs the company that she has been sexually harassed, we’ll report to the police and assist them in the investigation,” Wang said.
Currently, the company has no channel or emergency system in place to take complaints from passengers and the majority of buses do not have cameras, he noted.
Jiang Yue, a law professor at Xiamen University and an expert in women’s rights, refuted aspects of the otherwise flawless system, saying that the advice given by the police will not solve the problem at its root.
“In fact, it’s easy and necessary to require transport operators to provide warnings on buses and subways,” Jiang said. “Passengers pay to take transport, so they have the responsibly to give them a safe environment”.
Jiang suggested a law to prevent sexual harassment, adding harassment affects men as well as women.
As for the perpetrators of sexual harassment, the actual root of the problem who are hardly mentioned in the article, they will now be warned, fined and detained for a maximum of 15 days.
[Image credit: @jrmyst]