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Subway dress code sparks debate

07-06-2012 20:36 BJT

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A controversy over women’s dress code has sparked a public debate in China. Shanghai subway, China’s busiest system, asked women to dress "properly" to avoid sexual harassment on its official micro-blog... a statement that’s triggered huge debates.

Too revealing in the subway? A Shanghai subway micro-blog urged women to dress down in order to avoid sexual harassment. It’s a stance that’s sparked some strong reactions.

"We have the right to wear whatever we want, and it shouldn’t be an excuse for any sexual harassment."

"Sexual harassment is wrong no matter how we dress."

The national debate started with this photo with the caption "Dressing like that, it would be unusual for a lady not be harassed." Although the Shanghai metro company said its intention was never to condemn women but to remind them, many people think that it is the subway operator’s responsibility to protect women from sexual harassment.

A controversy over women’s dress code has sparked a public debate in China. Shanghai subway, China’s busiest system, asked women to dress "properly" to avoid sexual harassment on its official micro-blog

"I’d feel safer if there were more police patrolling on the train."

Yin Chao, Beijing Subway Staff, said, "We have police, security guards in every station of the Beijing subway and there is also an emergency button in each carriage of the train. If harassment happens, the victim can ask for help from any of the staff."

Despite the anger from female passengers, many internet users agreed that women should dress conservatively when taking public transport.

A controversy over women’s dress code has sparked a public debate in China. Shanghai subway, China’s busiest system, asked women to dress "properly" to avoid sexual harassment on its official micro-blog

This incident has brought sexual harassment in public places into the spotlight. The public uproar over the Shanghai subway’s move has highlighted the need for women to protect themselves. We went to a leading women’s rights expert... to get some advice.

Feng Yuan, Chairwoman of Anti-Domestic Violence Network, said, "Stare at the perverts, use your gestures and body language to block yourself from them, and don’t hesitate to speak out and get help from those around you. Most of all, don’t be afraid and stay silent if you are a victim of sexual harassment. The subway operator can learn from practices in other countries, for example, they can remind woman to stand in certain areas which are monitored by cameras if they are out late at night."

Feng Yuan also said the response of women to this public debate has been really inspiring. It shows that Chinese women are brave enough to stand-up for their rights over this controversial issue.

A controversy over women’s dress code has sparked a public debate
in China. Shanghai subway, China’s busiest system, asked women to
dress "properly" to avoid sexual harassment on its official micro-blog

A controversy over women’s dress code has sparked a public
debate in China. Shanghai subway, China’s busiest system, asked
women to dress "properly" to avoid sexual harassment on its
official micro-blog

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CNTV.CN

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