The movement for equality at the workplace has to deal with contradictions between demands for gender equality and the need to constantly incentivize women to enter the workplace. Historically, it has been hard to strike a balance between the two. Offering subsidies and incentives have borne fruit and have proved successful in bringing women into educational institutes and workspaces. This is because it is a more focussed approach aimed at uplifting a section of society. However, offering a blanket exemption from ticket fares blurs the boundaries between the haves and the have-nots, burdens the exchequer and furthers the belief that women are financially inferior.
With less than a year to go for the Delhi Assembly election, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has made a pitch for scrapping metro and bus fares for women commuters. “The government is considering to waive the fare for women in DTC buses and Delhi Metro to encourage them to use public transport in view of their safety,” he said at a public meeting on Saturday.
On Monday, at a press conference, Kejriwal announced voluntary free rides in metro trains and buses for women travelers, which is likely to cost approximately Rs 1,600 crore a year. “We don’t need the Centre’s permission for this. The Delhi government will bear the cost,” Kejriwal