South Korean city officials in Seoul are looking to institute "women-only" subway cars next month. Subway gropings and other sexual affronts increased by a whopping 80% between 2009 and 2010, and the solution appears to be to just remove men entirely. Plan B is to distract everyone with glowing puppies.
Seoul's subway network is one of the most heavily used in the world, with over a dozen lines, upwards of 300 stations and some 6.4 million passengers riding daily. Like any high-traffic public transit system, it has it's darker statistics, too: 1,192 reported sexual assaults in 2010, which is up from 671 in 2009. With over 600 cases already reported since the end of July, it looks like 2011 isn't going to be much better.
In an effort to lessen the rise of sexual harassment, officials are going to cordon off subway cars during late night commutes. It's something that was tried in South Korea before, actually, but was given up after "male passengers began disregarding the rules and boarded the exclusive cars," according to the Los Angeles Times. This time, there will be security guards posted in the special cars.
Whether or not the sectioned-off areas of the trains will do any good has yet to be seen. The women-only cars will only operate at night, so they won't do any good during the subway's busiest times. Also, in other countries where the women-only sections exist — Japan, India, Indonesia and Taiwan, to name a few — there hasn't been an appreciable decrease in related affronts. "In Japan, for instance, such subway cars began running in 2000 but have not resulted in a significant decrease in sexual offenses, officials say," the LA Times reports.