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Hanoi ponders bus route for women to combat sexual harassment

The Vietnamese capital city is considering the possibility of a bus route for women only in an effort to combat sexual harassment.

The Vietnamese capital city is considering the possibility of a bus route for women only in an effort to combat sexual harassment.
The Vietnamese capital city is considering the possibility of a bus route for women only in an effort to combat sexual harassment.

Nguyen Quoc Hung, deputy chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, has recently assigned the Hanoi Transport Corporation and related agencies to undertake research into the probability of such a route.

The move is seen as the capital city’s effort to combat sexual harassment against women.

According to Hung, the bus route could be piloted at rush hour if it is proved to be feasible.

Early this month, the National Committee for Traffic Safety requested authorities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to take measures to battle sexual harassment against women and girls on public transportation means, such as buses, and in other public places.

The request was made after the ActionAid Vietnam and the Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development announced in late November the results of a survey conducted on 2,046 people, focusing on sexual harassment in public places in the two cities.

According to the survey, 57 percent of the women aged 16 and above considered the streets are where sexual harassment is most likely to happen.

About 31 percent of the school girls polled confirmed that they had suffered from sexual harassment on buses.

Only 13 percent of the school girls in the survey said they feel safe when they are in public places.

Also, the Hanoi Transport Corporation said there were five cases reporting sexual harassment among more than 43,000 customer calls to its hotline from April 1 to November 31.

After the request by the National Committee for Traffic Safety, Deputy Chairman Hung said on December 15 that Hanoi has required the Department of Transportation, Hanoi Police and Hanoi Transport Corporation to investigate and specify places where sexual harassment against women often happens.

The city has also directed relevant agencies to give warnings and adopt prevention methods like enhancing public lighting.