NewsLatin AmericaPublic transport, that place that is not theirs

Public transport, that place that is not theirs

UN Women campaign in the Mexico City subway to eradicate sexual harassment.Galo Canas (Cuartoscuro)

The freedom of women in public space, a place of socialization and meeting, is still in question. The right to occupy it and move around in it has not been conquered. Instead, they remain in the grip of inexorable fear and vulnerability. The causes vary, but all are linked to the multiple times referred to, although never enough or forcefully, gender inequality. And this space is not only that of the streets and avenues but, above all, that of the public transport service. An environment that theoretically should be regulated and safe, but in practice, in our country, it is not only uncomfortable, but also conducive to harassment, kidnapping, rape; in short, the symbolic, psychological, social, sexual and physical violence of women.

It would seem that by simple probability they are more likely to “suffer” the vicissitudes of life, and it is that, according to the 2020 census, of a total population of 126 million inhabitants, 64 and a half million are women, that is, 51, two%; however, the roots of the iniquity that they suffer in public transport in Mexico are more complex and little focus has been placed on their recognition and studies of the cruxmuch less in providing effective solutions.

At the risk of resembling a story set in some radical country under a theocratic regime, like those that inspired the famous handmaid’s tale By Atwood, it is surprising that in the 21st century there are still women in Mexico who ask their partners or relatives for permission to move alone. But data from the national survey asymmetric genres. Representations and perceptions of the collective imagination (UNAM and University of Guadalajara, 2017) reveal that 23% of them need authorization to go to work, 49.7% to go out without company and 50% to do so at night. Not exercising the right to free movement means that they are not owners of their time, body and, therefore, lack autonomy.

Read Also:   Assassination attempt against Cristina Kirchner | The last hour of the attack against the vice president of Argentina, live

In contrast to this, as indicated by the survey Origin-destination in households in the metropolitan area of ​​the Valley of Mexico (INEGI, 2017), of the people over six years of age who make at least one trip during the week in the metropolis of our capital (15.63 million), 50.6% are women. A figure that might seem low, but that in absolute terms represents 200,000 more compared to men; that is, 40,000 more women a day. They make more trips. This is explained, firstly, by the role of caregiver that has been assigned to her and that forces her to make more trips for reasons associated with activities for the well-being of other members of the family, such as taking the children to school, the grandparents to the doctor, shopping, etc.; Second, when there is a car available in a household, it is used more by men, since it is associated that going to work is a more important activity.

An aggravating circumstance is that her time is less valued because it does not contribute directly to the generation of family wealth, she can wait, it will take longer. In either of the two scenarios, whether she is not allowed free movement or makes more trips, the Mexican woman lives, to a certain extent, a life that she does not choose.

To this non-choice is added a double one, the exposure to systemic violence that Žižek spoke of when he affirms that it occurs in the background of normalization and that therefore it presents certain behaviors that are judged “natural”, because although they are subjected to to her in both private and public space, she is socially invisible.

Read Also:   The Chilean Araucania announces a regional fund for compensation to companies affected by violence

Whether we are blind or in denial, the entire world is a threat that women deal with on a daily basis. Hence, the figures for attacks on them on public transport simply do not exist and that is because the necessary gender bias is not considered in the count. Because despite being an attack on our defended democracy under which, beyond the door of our houses, in what we call “street” there are no explicit restrictions on access and movement for anyone, as Mercedes Zuniga Elizalde affirms in Women in public spaces: between violence and the search for freedomroads, transportation “are far from being neutral and, on the contrary, they are environments where multiple exclusions are generated.”

The survey on Sexual violence in transportation and other public spaces in Mexico City (UN Women Mexico, 2018), points out that, in terms of perception of security and fear, 54.4% feel insecure and very insecure in public transport, the same source that concludes that a high percentage also expressed fear of suffering a sexual assault in the same space. Thus, women, in order to protect themselves from the violence that comes with the “movement of public life”, a term used by the ethnographer Linda McDowell, limit their access to the outside, to that area beyond the home and the bars that “defend” them.

Beyond the well-known socioeconomic, cultural and political causes of gender-based violence, there are three directly linked to public transport: the first is that there are still unregulated routes because, in areas without metrobus and metro coverage, there are no stops Specific: minibuses and combis can modify their route if it suits them for economic or practical reasons. There is no certainty of the trip: beginning (where to go up), end (where to go down) or time. Using public transport is random, the user may or may not arrive at their destination on time. Consequently, this uncertainty reduces the safety of passengers who, having a greater sense of efficiency, opt for the use of the car or taxi. But, as was said, in the case of women, in the family environment the use of private transport is denied or rationed.

Read Also:   The feminist government of Gabriel Boric

The second is that systems such as the metrobus and metro, which are safer because they are closed, are centralized and work only in the urban core, while systems without regulated routes prevail in the periphery. The third is the absence of a national registry of public transport units, since many of these are illegal, and there is no certainty about the number of users on peripheral routes or the crimes committed by gender.

Due to misfortune or incompetence, or both, the solutions implemented so far have been unsuccessful. The pink buses in the Metrobus and Mexibus systems run every half hour or more; and if a woman wishes to take it she must wait. The pink seats are not always respected and it is a circumstantial measure that does not propose a paradigm shift, in addition, the more it is segregated, the more it polarizes. Panic levers are inefficient because the police in these systems are not in authority, they are not properly trained or equipped.

The most convenient solution proposal is the already mentioned regulation and that only requires talent to be put into practice. Knowing what time and where a truck passes not only contributes to urban organization and mobility, but also protects and saves the lives of 51.2% of the population, women. Its implementation is simple, but perhaps not in line with the political will.

Subscribe to continue reading

Source: EL PAIS


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Posts

Read More

Carla Fernandez: “Clothes are the mobile home we carry with us”

Carla Fernandez, Mexican fashion designer, has created one of...

Why is it important to “charge energy” on the spring equinox for Mexicans? | Video

Posted at 07:39 ET (11:39 GMT) Tuesday, March 21,...

The Constitutional Court, with center-left sensitivity, analyzes the pardons granted by Boric in Chile

The pardons that the left-wing Chilean president Gabriel Boric...