The Brazilian city becomes the third at least the fourth worldwide (after Mexico City, Tokyo and Cairo) to mandate female-only cars during rush hour–to guard against gropers and harassment. But many consider the law a major step backward for women’s rights. (thanks to reader Hilary Tate for the correction)


They delivered a cold stare, then a sharp reprimand and finally gave a rousing shout for Roque Jose Santos to get out of their train car.

“This one’s just for women, don’t you know?” one female passenger cried as the 66-year-old music technician scuttled out of the compartment where, under Brazilian law, no men are allowed.

Last week, Rio de Janeiro became the world’s third major city to bring women-only cars to its commuting trains and subways, joining Tokyo and Mexico City. A new law mandates a separate car for women during rush hour, marked on the outside by a pink-striped sticker or a sign with the symbol of a woman.


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