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Women-Only Buses Introduced in Egyptian City of Damanhur

Women-Only Buses Introduced in Egyptian City of Damanhur

Egyptians ride in a bus past a polling station in central Cairo on December 15, 2012. (MAHMUD KHALED/AFP/Getty Images)
Egyptians ride in a bus past a polling station in central Cairo on December 15, 2012. (MAHMUD KHALED/AFP/Getty Images)

The Egyptian city of Damanhur introduced buses for female passengers  as a measure to combat sexual harassment, announced the Governor of Beheira on Friday.

Governor Mohamed Sultan said the move marks the first of its kind in Egypt and is aimed at voiding the harassment of women and ensuring safe and comfortable travel for female citizens. The Governor added that the decision to introduce women-only buses came after requests by citizens and non-governmental organizations.

The new buses will run in Damanhur, the capital city of Beheira, and will operate across the main routes in the city.

The idea of women-only buses was trialed by the Strong Egypt Party, a moderate Islamist political group led by Abdel Moneim ABoul Fotouh, on the streets of Cairo in 2013 but came to an end shortly afterwards as a result of political changes in Egypt.

In Cairo, the government introduced women-only metro carriages in 1987. Cairo’s metro sees more than 775 million users annually, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.

More recently, ‘Pink Taxis’ were introduced to the streets of Cairo. The Pink Taxi service was created solely for women and even includes female drivers. According to its founders, the ‘Pink Taxi’ is aimed at making women feel safer when leaving their homes.

Sexual harassment on public transport has plagued women across Egypt. According to a report by UN Women, 99.3 percent of all women in Egypt have experienced a form of sexual harassment, with public transportation being the second most likely place for the harassment to occur.

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