A Scooter And A Helmet Is What I See In My Dreams

Girl On Bike Pakistan

A few days back, I saw the most unexpected thing I could ever see in my life. I was in a rickshaw with my friend; our rickshaw stopped at a signal and beside our rickshaw came another rickshaw. We didn’t notice anything at that time, but then we observed our rickshaw driver looking at the other rickshaw with a strange grin on his face.

Giving each other a questioning look, my friend and I looked at the direction our driver was looking at and we got flabbergasted ourselves. The driver of the other rickshaw was a female.

She wore a nice grey color Kurta with dark blue jeans, a scarf tied loosely around her neck and a neat ponytail. My friend was like “OMG, what is that girl doing” and I was like “Oh wow, finally women are making their way on the roads in other means of transport”.

Alas! Not everyone was happy like I was. The reaction of the entire traffic near that rickshaw was extremely disappointing, men staring at the female rickshaw driver as if they have lost the power of blinking.

The signal turned green and gone was the girl with her rickshaw, but she left a question in my head. Why can’t women drive rickshaws or ride motorbikes in Pakistan like men do?

I feel envious when I see ladies from bordering countries, riding their bikes and scooters freely to work, college and for local errands. In Pakistan, I can’t imagine doing anything like this.

And even if I dare to be confident enough and try to ride a bike, I will be made so uncomfortable with the comments, gestures and instant “Fatwas” flying over from everywhere that I wouldn’t even dare to think of it again.

My family will start getting strange comments and taunting calls from the relatives and the nosy neighbors suggesting that my family should keep a watch on me. Only because I’m disrupting a social taboo and crossing the cultural limits imposed on me. And to top it off instead of supporting me, my family would start giving me lectures and would start convincing me to stay home rather than motivating me to face our hypocrite society. And this is not only my story, but a story of thousands of women who want to go out and be independent.

We say it’s part of our culture, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the culture. Because at large India, our neighboring country, and us are not very different in cultural terms, so if women draped in saris or wearing jeans can ride motorbikes and scooters there then why not here?

The sad part of all this is that even if somehow women do get an exposure for riding motorbikes in Pakistan, from somewhere religious norms will come in between. I don’t claim to be a religious scholar, but I don’t see what religion has anything to do with women riding bikes, and how it can be of any harm to the beliefs of one’s faith.

This troubles me so much. I wanted to ask all of you out there – are women of this country different than those of India or China? I would really like your opinion on this.

I believe that media plays an important role in creating in our minds what is acceptable and what is not. Media should give more exposure to this topic and should show girls riding bikes, it will give a highly needed signal to the people of Pakistan that that it’s alright for a girl to ride a motorbike.

Anum Sharf

A freelance content writer who is passionate about writing. She loves to focus on Pakistan positively in her writings and is an automotive enthusiast who loves to cover the automotive industry from a female point of view.

  • Fady

    Women must not lose their grace and respect. A motorbike is more prone to mishaps. A man can handle any worse situation but being a woman its difficult. Better drive a car!

    And if you keep on looking societies living in our east and west, better look what is the position and respect of woman in their society.

  • Omair Shahid

    what if that woman cant afford a car but can afford a scooter or a bike?

  • aka

    i have never seen a single women riding a bike in sweden atleast

  • Nabila

    Have you seen women in China and India driving scooters and if you haven’t watch National Geographic….scooters are not a way of freedom but it is an economical means of transport as compared to the public transport of Pakistan….and by the way Sweden is not a neighboring country of Pakistan in the article its clearly specified that the writer is comparing with neighboring countries.

  • alan

    I totally agree with the writer and really appreciate the effectiveness of the article in forwarding the message. I know that only media can make your dream true, However, Its the responsibility of the government. In my opinion these things happen when there is a need. So it will happen one day as the survival by a family in life becomes difficult day by day.

  • Sajid

    why you want to drag our Baba ki dolls on roads and with rickshaws. already problems are not enough with male bikers?

  • Muhammad Fad

    My 2 neighbours sisters drive bike but she came in such getup…..sometimes its difficult to judge its boy or gal…if we talk about drive bike in streat or colony its ok but not on long routes..

  • Muzamil

    There’s nothing wrong with riding a bike but you’re a part of our society and you know the cheap mentality of our people. No father could bear the sight of her daughter being followed by a bunch of bike riding goons or hear people revile her acts, the majority of our population is still illiterate and unfortunately a girl can’t mix with them to such extent. It’d take some time to get things to the level you want ’em to be. All I can say is Good luck with your plans and I hope that you’d see such liberation, if not you, than your daughter would be lucky enough to ride a bike freely on the roads of our country.

  • Nabila

    With all due respect Sir “Baba ki dolls” need to be strong and confident, driving a scooter is not bad its an easy and economical ride. Girls need to be confident, so much is changing in our society i know its hard to digest initially but with time it will do good. Just keep a positive approach 🙂

  • Kiran Khan

    I don’t think this country will ever see that kind of Liberation. But the change you are talking about is already here, it exist on a very small scale but it is present. The problem is the mentality of men in our society if they try to mind their own business things would workout well for everyone.

  • Kiran Khan

    And yea you mentioned that one day when Pakistan see’s that kind of liberation maybe we allow our daughters to ride a scooter I hope by that time our sons have learned to respect women. Riding a scooter doesn’t has to be something shameful if a girl is driving a rickshaw its pretty obvious she must be doing for financial assistance, nobody likes to drive a rickshaw for the sake of fun. Growup!

  • Sajid

    i am talking in perspective of current bad driving conditions of male bikers. Women are more welcome if still they want to.

  • Ali Imran

    when u took the topic abt driving or riding bikes and rickshaws by women in Pakistan ..it is 100 percent correct that the response from family friends and relatives will be negative ,but not bcoz they care but bcoz they will be jealous of you watching u riding your bike means u r no more dependable for transportation specially with men ,in our buses ,,,we all know girls and women gets abuse ,touched ,comments etc …then where are those family , friends and relatives who do objection and not allow women to be dependable in this worst case of our country , India have most rape and abuse repo for women in this world ,but still everything is going the way it should be , in fact women or girls get fast response if they req help in case of break down .now u have seen ur self that if women wants they can drive rickshaw and they are doing …now we can see a little change but its not a government help or effort but its their own decision .what we have to do now is taking steps by our own and start doing things which makes us comfortable ,a new style , a new way of living ..we just cant wait for government to make comfort for commuters but we have to make our own which is suitable for us .

  • chandler bing

    Dude, don’t just jump into your band wagon again. India does not have the most rapes or women abuse in the world. Can you not factor the population quotient in this. And we have the system so women can report any, and we are not in denial mode to not accept that we have problems that need to solved. Can you say the same about Pakistan? How better will be country be in women abuse, when the mindset of men is that women can’t even drive? Just stop feeding your ego, and live in denial.

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