Separate cars for women on trains starting Wednesday

The Egyptian Railways Authority is set to enforce women’s-only train cars on several popular routes to and from the capital starting Wednesday.

The move is part of its efforts to curb sexual harassment, which is rampant across the country.

According to state-run daily newspaper Al Ahram, the No. 909 train connecting Cairo and Alexandria departing at 9am will host the first women’s car.

The No. 957 train to Zagazig and the No. 513 train to al-Qanater al-Khaireyah will also boast exclusive cars for women.

Several rights and women’s groups claim the rate of sexual harassment and violence has increased sharply as of late.

Egyptian women are already afforded private metro cars in Cairo, which comprise the only public transportation that separates genders.

In 2008, an Egyptian court dismissed a lawsuit filed by two lawyers demanding the end of women’s-only cars on the grounds that separating the sexes violates gender equality.  

The court ruled that allocating cars to women did not fall under its jurisdiction and added that Islamic law emphasizes respect for women, which obligates the state to protect them.

Egyptian railways are among the oldest in the world and were first established in 1834.

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