A high proportion of human societies have chosen some form of gender segregation and it is one of the biggest criticisms westerners often level at non-western societies. In recent years there is evidence that western civilisation may be adopting increased gender segregation.
A lot of gender segregation in western countries is being driven by feminists who state that they often feel threatened by men, sometimes merely by their presence. Women continue to form many women-only organisations in western countries (such as gyms). Other segregated areas include women-only hotel floors and hotels This is a growing trend. There are a few hotels around the world that advertise as male-only although it is unlikely that this is enforced in western nations.
Women only restaurants are becoming common.
There is a Lesbian-only cemetery in Germany.
Jessica Valenti, a well known feminist blogger, has explicitly proposed gender segregation on public transport. Some countries are already doing it. There are women-only bus seats in Switzerland and India. There are women-only train carriages in Malaysia, Germany and other countries. There has even been a proposal for women-only seating sections on aircraft.
Men are not permitted to travel on trains during certain hours in Chennai, India.
New York City has a women-only taxi service. Although they have apparently had trouble finding sufficient female drivers. A similar service has been proposed for Melbourne, Australia, and is in use elsewhere.
There are women-only police stations in Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, Peru and India. Australian academics have been studying the Argentinian model with a view to the introduction of women-only police stations in Australia.
The US has a growing number of female-only co-working spaces.
Some public spaces in Australia have women-only seating.
A women-only market has recently opened in London.
This raises the interesting question about whether it was women who drove segregation in other societies. This would be interesting considering that gender segregation in non-western countries today is often claimed as principally disadvantaging women.
Feminists assert that men dominate in conversations with women and interrupt women more than women interrupt men in conversation. This notion is in dispute but if it is believed by women to be true then it may follow that women would prefer to talk to other women than men, which would further support the notion that women may naturally wish to increase gender segregation.
It may be reasonable for a society to permit gender segregation, but it must be on just and equal terms. Thus a society should permit both men-only and women-only organisations only if they are available on equal terms. A society should allow both or it should allow neither. Currently women in the west continue to enjoy uninterrupted access to women-only spaces and organisations while men are today largely prohibited from having men-only spaces and organisations.
- Women only trains and transport. How they work around the world.
- Chariot for Women
- Sandman on Women-only restaurants
- Police in Bangalore, India to fine men who sit in seating reserved for women