A new bus line has been created in Jakarta, Indonesia, to help women feel safe during their daily commute.
The pink bus, which began operating earlier this week, was designed to help protect female passengers from sexual harassment. According to VOI, the unique bus travels throughout the busy district of Pasar Buru in central Jakarta. To ensure extra safety, female officers are stationed in the vehicle. Women are also employed to operate the exclusive bus service.
Female commuters can ride the pink bus between the hours of 5 am and 10 pm for a fare of 3.5 Indonesian Rupiah, which is around 24 cents in U.S. currency. Currently, eight pink buses are operating around the city, but more routes will be added in the future.
In a statement, Transjakarta Corporate Secretary Division said the move was in response to a growing number of sexual harassment cases on public transportation.
Indonesian women say they’ve experienced stalking and groping on public transportation
A study by the Coalition for Safe Public Space (KRPA) in 2020 found that Indonesian women often experienced sexual harassment while on their daily commute. According to the report, 35.45 percent of female respondents said they were harassed on buses, while 30 percent said they experienced sexual misconduct on public minivans.
“The harassment is not only physical – like being groped or having a man rub his genitals against a woman – but also verbal. There were 19 forms of harassment that the respondents experienced on public transportation,” said Rastra, an activist with the coalition. Some female respondents said they were stalked and even photographed without their consent while commuting.
In April, Indonesian lawmakers passed a historic sexual violence bill that will now make it permissible by law to prosecute an individual accused of committing a sexual offence like harassment, rape, or sexual slavery. Under the new bill, the legislation also includes a provision aimed at helping victims of sexual violence seek therapy and rehabilitation following an assault, according to NBC News.
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