Monday 25 September 2023

2nd TRAIN 2B EQUAL Workshop on security of women and combatting gender-based violence in railways is a roaring success!

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On 13 September 2023, as part of UIC’s opt-in project TRAIN 2B EQUAL, the UIC Security Platform led the second webinar in a series of webinars on “Change making for gender equality in rail,” with over 80 participants attending. The online event focused on combatting gender-based violence (GBV) in the rail environment. It comprised two panels and a one-hour training session from STANDUP (Against Street Harassment) to discuss the importance of this topic.

Starting off the event, Joo Hyun Ha, Sustainability Strategy and International Partnerships Senior Advisor and TRAIN 2B EQUAL point of contact, gave an overview of the project and how it is incorporated into a wider global gender equality agenda within UIC. Jumping into the programme, Senior Security Research Advisor Laura Petersen presented the results from the 44th Network of Quick Responders Survey on the Security of Women. With 14 responses from 13 countries, the results showed that everyday security measures, such as CCTV and security staff presence, contribute to the security of women.

The first panel was comprised of UIC members, who showcased the measures they have put in place to combat GBV.

Leading this first panel, Meritxell Salas from FGC presented on FGC’s anti-harassment plan, including internal and external actions, gender initiatives and measures in its Equality Plan, their results, and achievements regarding the feeling of security for users.

The next speaker, Debashmita Chattopadhyay Banerjee from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Indian Railways, presented vulnerability mapping strategies to mitigate GBV challenges, several of their flagship programmes such as Operation My Saheli, and RPF’s future aim to use enhanced AI technology to aid GBV prevention.

Camilla Gerdenitsch from ÖBB cited the measures they have implemented to contribute to the fight against GBV in Austria. She highlighted the deployment of body cameras, which started in 2017. This measure has been well received by both employees and customers, increasing the feeling of security and reducing crime rates.

Mathieu Huysmans underscored the holistic measures SNCB utilises to mitigate GBV, such as maximising lines of sight and lighting, augmenting CCTV deployment in stations and trains, conducting specialised security staff training sessions, particularly on victim care and minimising re-traumatisation, and increasing the ways threats or incidents can be reported.

Concluding the first panel, Anne Meunier from SNCF emphasised SNCF’s internal and external railway security measures, such as specialised training courses, victim support services and staff training, the internal professional network SNCF Mixité, and SNCF’s SMS and call alert numbers to report any incident or threat.

After a brief question and answer session, the second panel, which focused more broadly on public spaces, welcomed representatives from the metro sector and public authorities.

Nicola Brady from TFL kicked off the panel. She talked about how important it is to talk to everyone about GBV, not just victims. With this in mind, she explained that TFL has launched an awareness campaign to encourage members of the public to be “active bystanders” if ever they witness sexual harassment.

Continuing the discussion, Laurence Deglain from the French Ministry for Infrastructure, Transportation and Mobility (Direction Générale des Infrastructures, des Transports et des Mobilités – DGITM) presented the Annual Report on Violence Against Women in Public Transport. She highlighted key figures from the 2021 report during her presentation, stating that nearly one-third of the respondents had seen GBV on their networks, demonstrating a 7% increase from 2020. She also underscored a new initiative entitled “Get off on demand” where passengers can get off between two bus stops to be closer to their destination.

The event concluded with a one-hour training session from STANDUP guest speaker Terry Castillo, who highlighted Right to Be’s 5 D methodology, empowering the participants to stand up to street harassment. During this training session, participants were encouraged to use their newly acquired knowledge in interactive scenarios.

The UIC opt-in project TRAIN 2B EQUAL aims to establish cultural change that empowers and attracts more women to travel by, and work in, rail. The project brings together companies committed to gender mainstreaming in their operations through knowledge sharing, increasing awareness, and actively engaging UIC members and the broader rail community in this area.

Future phases of the project could include further research, a global charter as well as training sessions and e-learning materials on gender equality for rail. UIC members interested in supporting the project are invited to contact our team for more information.

The 3rd TRAIN 2B EQUAL webinar on gender-responsive design for stations and infrastructure will take place in February 2024, and the 4th webinar will be in March 2024, with a focus on gender equality in the hiring process and work environment.

For further information regarding the 2nd TRAIN 2B EQUAL webinar, please contact Laura Petersen, Senior Security Research Advisor at

For further information regarding the TRAIN 2B EQUAL project, please contact Joo Hyun Ha, Sustainability Strategy & International Partnerships Senior Advisor at


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Meritxell Salas presented FGC’s anti-harassment plan, with a particular focus on combatting gender-based violence in rail, to the webinar’s participants.
Debashmita Chattopadhyay Banerjee discussed some of RPF’s planned actions to enhance security for women and mitigate GBV in stations and trains.
Camilla Gerdenitsch gave an overview of the practices and strategies that ÖBB is implementing to combat GBV in the rail environment in Austria.
Mathieu Huysmans described several of the holistic measures and initiatives that SNCB is taking to combat GBV in the railways in Belgium.
Anne Meunier illustrated the ways in which SNCF is fighting GBV and sexual violence in its trains, stations and in the rail environment in France.
Laura Petersen, UIC Senior Security Research Advisor, summarises the findings from the 44th Network of Quick Responders survey on the security of women.