WOW – Women On Wheels
Pakistan – A few weeks ago we highlighted the 12th – International Female Ride Day – which took place on Saturday, 5th May.
The aim of the globally synchronized ride was that women motorcycle enthusiasts around the world would join together to “Just Ride!” for the once-a-year global action across all borders, cultures and on all forms of motorcycles.
In April on our Facebook page, we linked to ‘Motorcycle Girl’ which is a film about Zenith Irfan thought to be the first female motorcyclist to travel across Pakistan solo.
Staying with woman on motorcycles and Pakistan, recent news from the Punjab reports that in Lahore on May 13 2018, women rode pink motorcycles at an organised rally.
The rally was to celebrate the commencement of free motorcycle lessons and distribution of subsidised (The Bank Of Punjab BOP) motorcycles (Honda CD 70 Dream – Atlas Honda) in Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Rawalpindi though the ambitious Women on Wheels (WoW) campaign.
Women on Wheels (WoW)
The Women on Wheels (WoW) initiative was launched over two years ago by the Punjab Chief Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit – SRU, with the objective of training women how to ride motorbikes instead of dependence on a male driver and riding as a pillion in a side-saddle position behind a male driver.
Chief Minister’s Special Monitoring Unit SMU (Law & Order) is an entity of the Government of Punjab and an integral part of the Chief Minister’s Office.
It has direct accountability to the Chief Minister and the citizens of the province of Punjab. Since its inception in August, 2014 SMU has already introduced ground breaking reforms in the Law & Order wing that are currently in implementation stage.
The reforms brought about by Special Monitoring Unit (Law & Order) include, but are not limited to, the following sectors: Violence against Women, Traffic, Excise & Taxation, Police, Graveyard, Library, Restaurant grading and Transport.
Strategic Reforms Unit Director General Salman Sufi has stated that, “Women-on-Wheels campaign is creating a strong wave in society pertaining to women’s mobility and access to public spaces.
The campaign has created a direct impact on hundreds of girls who relied on male members of the family for commuting to school, work or to complete errands, to now take charge of their lives”
Women on Wheels (WoW) says It has successfully provided training run by the Punjab Traffic Police, to more than 3,500 women with an aim to reach a target of over 10,000 to create a movement to empower women in Punjab, combatting street harassment, improving access to mobility and to enable rightful access to public spaces.
The initiative is supported by the Women Development Department of the Punjab Province and UN Women Pakistan.
Meanwhile women are also taking their natural empowerment in the male dominated world of Saudi Arabian women as the country moves to lift a ban on women behind the wheel and riding motorcycles. However according to Motoress the Global Women’s Motorcycle Magazine, “Saudi women are not out of the woods, as under the new order women will still need permission of a male relative to obtain licences.”
Either by changing laws or changing taboos of riding astride a motorcycle especially in religious orientated countries, the routine gender discrimination appears to be lifting for this necessary form of individual transport for women.
Original Sources – Information
The Bank Of Punjab (BOP) – Women On Wheels – WOW
Courting The Law – Women On Wheels – WOW
The Nation – WOW – Another fleet hits the road