Chinese police are telling women to avoid wearing hot pants and miniskirts if they don’t want to be sexually harassed while using public transportation. Transport and police officials in Beijing have been getting an increasing number of reports that women are being groped and even secretly filmed.
According to the China Daily, the issued statement reads: “Women should not wear minimal clothing, such as miniskirts or hot pants when taking public transportation and should call police promptly if they are sexually harassed.Women are advised to not sit on higher levels of buses and to stand on lower stairs to avoid being the target of inappropriate picture taking, and they should shelter their bodies with bags, magazines and newspapers.”
The statement warns that sexual harassement can result in a fine or up to 15 days in prison.
These new guidelines are meant to inform women of what to do if they are harassed and how to protect themselves, said police officer, Xing Wei.
“It is hard for us to collect evidence in sexual harassment cases despite cameras on buses and subways," Xing said. "It is also difficult to train public transportation workers to assist women in harassment prevention and response.”
Wang Jiansheng, director of Beijing Public Transport Holdings, Ltd, believes the best way to solve the problem is to have conductors remind women to protect themselves. Not only does Beijing Public Transport not take responsibility for what happens on transit, it does not have a system in place for passengers to lodge complaints.
Jiansheng admitted there is no camera system in place on public transport or complaint procedures for passengers.
“After all, as a transport company, our main job is to take passengers to their destinations,” Jiansheng said.