The trains are operated by German railway company MRB, representatives of which assume that the new compartments will be in high demand by female travelers.
Formally, the company's employees aren't linking the new measure with the New Year's events in Cologne, during which hundreds of women were sexually harassed by men of Arab and African appearance. However, at the same time they believe that the new measure would help women to feel safer.
On December 31, 2015, hundreds of females were robbed and sexually assaulted by groups of aggressive men in Cologne and a number of other German cities. Some perpetrators were identified as asylum seekers who entered the country among millions of other refugees fleeing the Middle East and North Africa amid increased violence.
Each train operated by MRB is expected to have two female compartments, which will be located next to the conductor, in the middle of the train. Train tickets will be purchased on a common basis.
The proposal caused lively discussion on social networks, with some human rights activists and Internet users viewing the new measure as discriminative aimed at the isolation of traveling women.
A female-only compartment is a sign of separation, a first step towards Saudi Arabia; next — women will drive NO cars
@XYEinzelfall Ich würde mich reinsetzen. Ich lass mich als Mann nicht diskriminieren.— Tristan Kreis (@Tristan_Kreis) 24. März 2016
I would take a seat there [in the compartment]. I would not let them discriminate me as a man.