Gender Equality – Planning First?



I subscribe to the idea of gender equality. It is clear enough in this world right now women are making more impact compared to men and it is naive to disregard the existence of women.

If you take a closer look, you will see more corporate women instead of men, most leaders now are women and even more women became judges! Needless to say, more lawyers are female too.

It is difficult to make a clear distinction between women and females and why is it so? Age. It is impressed upon us that women are people who are at least in the thirties, and have set their foot in many of the industries whereas females range from any age.

It would be different and much easier to differentiate men and women or male and female. Apart from their physical appearance, what else is different? This gap is getting smaller and smaller and it also appears women have replaced men “di persada dunia”. I will now use the term “females”, “ladies” and “women” interchangeably here.

Having this in mind, what’s the need of special coaches for ladies in KTM and special Rapid busses for females? Question: are they being sexist?

I am a diehard fan of public transport simply because I take trains and bus to my destinations, which of course includes my workplace and college in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

I once, accidentally went into the KTM’s ladies coach and one lady sounded me while pointing to the sign “Ladies Coach”. All the ladies are sitting comfortably and she sounded me simply because I am sitting on the very last empty seat. I got up, apologised and changed to the next side as soon as I reached the next station.

Perhaps many ladies and gentlemen have strongly established the need and importance of having such privilege for women. It is for the safety in terms of from sexual harassment and theft and to prevent them from happening. I too, understand the issues here as I am always sardined between men and women in trains. But do such incidents happen only to women?

If we establish that women are of the same standards as men, why are there such hassles to implement something like this? I reckon, rather than appreciating and acknowledging their status as to being on par with men, we are actually condoning the demoloshment of this respect. In the end, what they enjoy is just extra comfort which would burden the rest.

On a side note, the usual flaws would be the implementation without proper planning. I would accept this idea if it does not cause hardships to the rest of the public members.

KTM’s decision to have a pink coach and RapidKL’s implementation of having busses specially designated for ladies ONLY carry tremendous flaws which are totally unacceptable. Being a user of the public transport system in this country, you may share my opinion regardless of your gender as a result of your everyday experience.

In the context of KTM, the ladies coach is one of the existing coaches available for the entire train. Assuming that there are 4 carriages, one of them would be exclusive for ladies and the rest would be left in limbo. More often than not, while ladies could board the ladies coach, the men would be left scrambling for the remaining coaches.

Furthermore, ladies have the right to board other coaches as long as they like. You may be surprised to know that they are much stronger because in reality, they commit battery on others more than men. Time is wasted and until they add carriages, this will continue to be a bad idea and opposed to the idea of gender equality.

In relation to RapidKL, a similar effect occurs. Apparently, they did conduct a proper study to understand the problems faced from KTM’s implementation before deciding so. Imagine if they have busses catered for ladies, men would be left waiting and nothing else. I must say this implementation will receive support from the ladies because waiting for RapidKL’s busses are real pain.

Regretfully, every time when I pass the bus depot, there will be hundreds of busses stationed under maintenance. In this regard, it is difficult to ascertain as to whether their implementation was backed by the idea of having more busses available on the road. Of course, by the end of this, you will appreciate traffic congestion will also contribute to this issue if more busses are deployed on the road.

After all these, I realise gender equality comes with a price. Whilst the ideas are good provided careful study and appreciation on the practicality of such implementations are conducted, this doctrine of “equality” means nothing if we are to put others suffering in order to cater to one party’s enjoyment. So why talk about gender equality?

Again, I stress why promote gender equality when in practice  we do not appreciate it?

Chris aspires to be a good lawyer. He will not let the fate of the curious cat get in the way of experiencing the new and embracing opportunities to learn. He thanks his lucky stars that he continues to meet fantastic characters from all walks of life, particularly LoyarBurokkers(!), who contribute in making him a wiser person. Life experiences are guides even to heaven’s door. Be amused by his jottings and tweets @christan_yh

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Posted on 1 February 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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