INDIA’S flag carrier Air India will be introducing women-only seats on domestic routes, said to offer women more “choice and comfort”.
Despite reports of in-flight sexual harassment, Air India’s general manager G. Prasada Rao said the new seats are not related to the reports.
“It’s more to do with the fact that economy class doesn’t have much space to move around easily and comfortably for women, so this option will give them more choice,” he said.
Rao added that seats would be offered at no extra cost for passengers and would be available for up to an hour before check-in counters close.
Reports of inappropriate behavior on the state-owned carrier have been brought to attention recently, and in some cases, victims have taken to social media to post videos and photos of their perpetrators.
Frequent traveler Pashmina Binwani supports Air India’s move and told Travel Wire Asia: “It’s the system that needs to be changed. To this day, the number of Indians who receive proper sexual education is shockingly low as the majority of institutions and societies [still] treat the subject as taboo.”
It’s not uncommon for women and girls to face a barrage of threats including sexual violence whilst traveling in India, and many activists blame the deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes that objectify women.