A bike rally was organised in Karachi this Sunday in order to make the presence of women more visible. About 100 women took out their bikes to rally to the sea viewpoint. No traffic was blocked for this purpose and there are several video tapings of women riding alongside the usual traffic. The founder of Pink Riders Payam-i-Khurram is of the opinion that initiatives like these would make women less dependent on members of their family, which often results in them missing out on key life experiences as professionals, as students, as housewives or any other role that they might choose to adopt.

The visibility of women in the streets of Pakistan can certainly improve their mobility. Many travelers and tourists have pointed out the gender disparity when it comes to female presence outside in Pakistan. It can be overcome by providing such opportunities, which will impact how the common citizen then views the presence of women in the country. The bikers pointed out that, of course, there are times when they are heckled upon while riding bikes but it is certainly better than having to wait in public transport where there is a huge security risk involved. At the same time, owning one’s own vehicle can also improve the budget management for several people who have to spend a good amount of money on transport. And economic independence is directly linked to the independence of women in the country where the perception lies that those who are financially dependent have to be very obedient and accommodating.

In order to improve the situation for women in the country and to make public mobility easier for them, it is important that such initiatives are supported by the government. The last government of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) was actively involved in supporting initiatives related to women, however, the new government has not followed up with those measures and in their attempt to work on human development, can neglect the condition of women in this part of the world. The most basic measure that can be taken is the designing of a social awareness campaign which urges people to create space. Even in countries like India, which have the same social problems like Pakistan, women riding scooters are a common sight. This will encourage several other women to find means to their independence and ensure them that safety will be a must.