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Tuesday, 06 January 2015 - 12:10
Women-only buses introduced to stop sexual assault in Nepal
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Kathmandu has introduced women-only minibuses in an attempt to protect female passengers from sexual assault.

Four 17-seater minibuses with large “women-only” signs will operate on key routes in the Nepalese capital during morning and evening rush-hours.

“Groping and sexual assault is a problem for women who use buses, especially during peak hours when buses are overcrowded,” said Bharat Nepal, president of the Bagmati Federation Transport Union, which introduced the service. “This is our small initiative to make commuting safe and secure for female travellers.”

Only one of the buses has a female conductor, but Nepal said the goal was to eventually employ an all-female crew.

In a 2013 World Bank survey 26% of female respondents aged between 19 and 35 said they had experienced some form of sexual assault on public transport in Nepal.

In 2011 a 21-year-old Buddhist nun was gang-raped in a bus in eastern Nepal by five men, including the bus driver.

Complaints about groping prompted authorities in neighbouring India to introduce women-only carriages on the metro system in the capital, New Delhi, in 2010.

-Guardian

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