#BBCtrending: Are women-only seats on public transport a good idea?

  • 18 March 2014

Should women have designated seats on public transport? We asked you - and hundreds of you responded with your thoughts.

Last week, we reported - on our radio programme and in the video above - on an image that's been widely shared on social media in India. It shows two men sitting in seats on the Delhi metro, which are clearly labelled as being "for ladies only". We asked for your thoughts on the BBC India Facebook page, the BBC World Service Facebook page, and via our @BBCtrending Twitter account and email.

Many of your comments were critical of the men. "Chivalry is dead in India," wrote Redd Zetroc. "Shame on them," tweeted Amadi Ras. "No matter what the rules, young dudes sitting when a woman is standing and holding a child is rude," wrote Judith Sirreal.

Some said the men should be "shamed" and questioned why we had blurred their faces in our report. The reason BBC Trending did so was because the circumstances around the image were not confirmed, and we felt it would be unfair to open them up to potential abuse online. Some who wrote in suggested the men may have been illiterate or blind.

Opinion was divided on whether designated seating for women is a good idea or not. "Seats should not be reserved for ladies unless they're old, injured, pregnant or sick," wrote Manisha Kathayat. Others - like Souveek Pal - argued that having special seats for women is an outdated idea which suggests that "women are weak". Elizabeth Umanzor agreed - and said, in the US, designated seating has echoes of racial segregation. "If we want so much equality like men... then seats should be unisex," she said. But others reported problems with groping when travelling on public transport in India and welcomed separate seats for women.

There was a fair bit of discussion about whether men would leave women and children standing on public transport elsewhere in the world. The general consensus was "yes". Many of you - from Germany, to Malawi, Brazil, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico and Bangladesh - shared similar stories.

Do you have a story you think we should cover on BBC Trending? Or a response to a story we've done? Let us know @BBCtrending, or trending@bbc.co.uk