Pink Bus inaugurated in Karachi, Pakistan
Exclusive service for women and by women
Women are happy with the introduction of economical and safe public transport
Pink Bus & Pink Taxi – Empowering Women of Pakistan
The Pink Bus & Pink Taxi services across Pakistan, are making waves as it aims to change the narrative for women in the country.
The services are operated by women and exclusively for women, which makes them a safe and reliable mode of transportation for female passengers, as well as economical.
In Pakistan, women often face harassment and discrimination while using public transportation. The Pink Bus & Pink Taxi services are helping tackle this issue by providing a safe and secure environment for women to travel.
All drivers and staff members are female, and the vehicles are equipped with GPS tracking, emergency buttons, and cameras for added security.
The segregation in public busses didn’t stop men from touching your behind or rubbing your shoulder while getting off the bus. I would love to ride on the pink buses and ride without bracing myself for an untoward experience. -Arshia Malik
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Since its conception, the services have received praise from many quarters, with women praising the convenience and peace of mind that it offers. It has also become a source of empowerment for female drivers and staff members, as it provides them with employment opportunities in a male-dominated industry.
The Pink Bus was recently integrated in Karachi on 1st February, becoming the first women-only bus service in Pakistan’s Sindh.
Reportedly, every 20 minutes during rush hour and every hour at quieter times, six pink air-conditioned buses run along one of the city’s busiest routes from Frere Hall to Clifton Bridge.
“If this is successful, we can bring in more buses throughout the city, and eventually all of Sindh,” says Sharjeel Memon, the province’s transport minister.
Memon wants to make public transport safer and easier for women to use. “We have assessed that 50% of the commuters during rush hour are women and there is not enough space in the bus for them to ride in a dignified manner.”
Dr Hadia Majid, an associate professor at Lahore University, has been researching transportation and its links to women’s participation in the labour market. She sees the pink buses as a positive step in encouraging more women into the workplace.
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Pink Bus & Pink Taxi – The Challenges
While the services have been appreciated, they’ve also been criticized with some claiming that it reinforces gender stereotypes and reinforces the notion that women are not safe in public spaces. C
Critics argue that instead of creating separate spaces for women, the focus should be on addressing the root causes of harassment and discrimination.
Despite these criticisms, the Pink Bus & Pink Taxi service are making a difference for women in Karachi. It offers a much-needed alternative for female passengers and provides employment opportunities for women in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
It remains to be seen how the service will impact the larger narrative for women in Pakistan, but its launch is certainly a step in the right direction.
On the other hand, critics have also raised the question of whether will introducing more transport on the roads actually make a difference in how men perceive women. If they aren’t harassing women in public transport, will they stop harassing them on the roads, in shops, or in public parks? Will men ever change their nature just because they don’t have to share the same bus?
University student Hiba Hasan Fasihi, 19, is sceptical about whether a pink bus can “resolve the way men look at women” but says she will use the service. “The pink buses can be used during rush hour when there can be a lot of pushing and shoving.”
Yes, the service will make an impact, but again, is it enough? Seems like only time will tell. We do hope that the government continues to take such initiatives to empower the women of the country and encourage them to come out of their homes.
Stay tuned to WOW360.
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