Police in China's capital urge women to cover up on public transport

Wed Jun 5, 2013 12:56am EDT
 
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Police in the Chinese captial have warned women not to wear miniskirts, hot pants or other skimpy clothing on buses and subways during the hot summer in order to avoid sexual harassment, Chinese media reported on Wednesday.

Women should also shield themselves with bags or newspapers, and sit or stand in lower areas rather than in raised seats to avoid being surreptitiously photographed, according to guidelines issued by the traffic department of the Beijing Public Security Bureau and cited by the official China Daily.

Women often complain of groping and other harassment in Beijing's crowded buses and subways.

Most buses in the capital do not have security cameras so it is difficult for authorities to collect evidence of harassment, police officer Xing Wei was quoted as saying.

The heaviest penalty for sexual harassment is 15 days in detention, according to Xing.

Women have been guaranteed broad equal treatment under Chinese law since Mao Zedong, the founder of communist China, declared that women "hold up half the sky".

But despite that, women in China still face old-fashioned attitudes among many men and few women hold op jobs in government or business.

(Reporting by Sally Huang; Editing by Terril Yue Jones and Robert Birsel)