Women On Wheels: Pakistani Women Should Be Encouraged To Ride Motorcycles

I came across the news about 150 female motorcyclists participating in ‘Women on Wheels (WoW)’ rally held in Lahore. They were trained for riding and subsequently held a small rally to demonstrate their skills. This program has the blessing of Chief Minister’s Special Monitoring Unit (SMU) on Law and Order as well as the UN Women.

For Sale on Pakwheels: Motorcycle

Immediately as the news came out on the social media, many people started commenting and sharing their opinions on it; with those in favor out-ranking those against by a majority, but such a thought is prevalent in our society.

Also Read: Zenith Irfan Is A Female Rider On The Storm From Pakistan

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Personally, I am totally in favor of women riding motorcycles. What we must understand is that some may be doing it out of joy, but many would be doing for the very same reasons men do. It is cheap and affordable, and not everyone in our country can afford to keep a car. It is due to necessity. Many of them can’t afford to travel in rickshaws daily for their commuting needs either, hell! I can’t even afford riksha daily. If they travel on public transport, such as a Hi-ace/Wagon, then it is no ease either and why should they when the opportunity is available as a means of a motorcycle.

This step will give women independence, something which the patriarchal society of Pakistan fears the most. The males want the women to be dependent on them only, to move around from one place to another. In most cases, if the male member of the family is not available, or busy, it is the females who suffer. Again, let’s not forget this that not all can afford a car or a driver.

If they have to travel daily, for study or job purposes, a male must be present for them for this duty; otherwise, they cannot go, which I think is very unfair to them. We have built our home (our country) in such a terrible way that our daughters and sisters need the towering shadow of a bodyguard to roam without any worries. Women are responsible drivers in many ways as well in observation, they follow traffic rules and hardly will you hear any news about them getting into rash driving or even drunk driving for that matter.

Then comes the subject of their attire that we should not judge in the first place but people who say that “Behayai”(immorality) will spread with women driving bikes. Come on! Really? Is a bike capable of spreading “Behayai”? Like it is waiting for women bike riders only? All I mean is if a person wants to spread “Behayai” he/she can do it in many different ways other than through a motorcycle. If you want to stop immorality, better train the people around you instead of banning bike riding.

Also Read: Riksha As A Personal Vehicle: Guy From Lahore Breaks The Riksha Stereotypes

Then comes the harassment part, people argue at this point that women on wheels will get harassed a lot, so they should not ride bikes. I mean what sort of logic is this? Instead of teaching those people, who harass women a lesson, you are saying to discourage women bike riding who may be doing it out of need. See this mentality has to change, this country and city is their home, and we should not build a place where they have to roam in constant fear. Women in this country are harassed by people who they trust the most, harassment is no reason for banning bike riding for women. You should have stricter laws, and everyone should feel safe on the road, be it a man or a woman. It is their fundamental right, and the state should safeguard that right.

Those women who wish to ride a bike, due to necessity or whatever their reasons should not be refrained from doing so. It is very common on the east side of our border, which is almost identical to our culture. If they can allow women riding bikes, so can we. Get the scooties if you’re not comfortable with a motorcycle. They are easier to ride and are covered from the front as well. It would be highly beneficial for Pakistan to finally step into the 21st century…

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Mujtaba Abbas

In a parallel world, Mujtaba a.k.a MJ is an avid Environmentalist and a Public Servant. In this realm he is a die hard automotive enthusiast who seeks to create awareness in the minds of the readers and sincerely believes "Tabdeeli aanay hi waali hai :P

  • Guest

    1. Why is it written in a ranting style? Understood that the topic is controversial, there are various other rants, why not write a coherent piece?

    2. There is a lot of ‘behayai’ in form of men-men, men-animal, women-women, women-animal, women-men. Somehow the men-women ‘behayai’ is the only one that gets highlighted.

    3. Everybody should have the freedom of movement. Some people (usually the prehistoric dadi-maan of the house) do not even let the women of their house drive a car while a stranger (hired driver) moves them around.

    4. The article notes that women need to be escorted by the males of their family, which is true and a sad reality of our society that basic need such as safety is not easily available.
    However the article is biased by portraying women as some ‘mazloom hasti’ whose dreams always get crushed because the males of the family do not support. While it is true for many women, in many families, males of the family sacrifice their personal time, commitments and activities to escort the female family members. Unfortunately man is the enemy of other man (such as the writer of this article just demonstrated), and it is only man who will paint other man in bad light just for some perverted sexual gratification which he can achieve by portraying woman as ‘mazloom’ (and occasionally include portrayal of man as ‘zalim’). In a few families I have always seen that girls get preference, if boy and girl both have to go somewhere then the boys have to make sure their sister’s/wife’s/girl cousin’s job gets done first, preferred over his own task.

    5. The last part of point #4 is longer and I want to point out that before also, the same writer has written articles about female harassment. I agree that safety from harassment is basic right of every woman. But I also emphasize that safety from all sorts of harassment is also fundamental right of men and eunuchs too. Very many people make efforts to safeguard females from harassment and feel upset over such incidences, but who is going to provide safeguard for men or even feel for them?

    6. In the very last sentence the writer has written, “It would be highly beneficial for Pakistan to finally step into the 21st century”. I am aghast at what the writer thinks is stepping into 21st century. Why is he confusing women on motorcycles and women’s having freedom to move, be harassment-free and economical commute? Hey mister, in 21st century many countries have stopped giving licenses for motorcycle manufacture, stopped giving out motorcycle number plates and stopped giving out motorcycle driving licenses. Instead, they are promoting walking (healthy), buses and metropolitan trains. Because motorcycle has proven to be a death machine.
    Take a great leap forward instead of insisting to make the same mistakes as other societies and then learn, and then modernizing. Eliminate motorcycles here and now, for both men and women.

    7. Points #3 and #6 ask the writer to stop confusing human rights and motorcycles. The situation of human rights, safety, security and freedom can be improved yet motorcycles’ use should be reduced to protect and preserve human life.

    8. OTOH it is good that women are learning to ride a motorcycle and having a driving license. All the time we see that the man is driving and wife and 5 children are pillion riding on the bike, while the woman is cursing him all along, and in any case, he is responsible for the safety of all of them. Even when asked, women would not want to sit with both legs on each side of the bike, because they think it is “less feminine” somehow.
    Women wanted their equality since all along, from now on, we will see the wife driving and trying to balance the bike, while the husband sits with both legs on one side the bike, precariously balancing all 5 children.

  • Sanjay Natarajan

    Yeah, it is good women learn to ride. With the lack of proper public transport system and unaffordability of cars this is the only remaining best option. The situation is almost same in all the South Asian countries.

    Some geniuses are mentioning the fact that the government should stop giving motorcycle number plates and licenses. But before doing that, the government should ensure proper public transport system, stricter laws that protect women against harassment, etc ., which is not going to happen in any of the south asian countries in the next 2 decades, let alone pakistan!

    Also, as the author has suggested that scooties would be better for women than riding a motorcycle because of the comfort, convenience and the practicality it offers. Those include CVT transmission so no worry of changing the gears, mono suspension for added comfort, space for legs in the front which can comfortably accommodate the saree/abaya/burqa, under seat storage with locking which can easily accomodate grocery for a week for a family of 6, etc., Pakistani women should definitely give it a try!

  • Muhammad Yasir

    can boys ride scooties too ? or is it also a socially abhorred sin -_- ??

  • Sanjay Natarajan

    Of course, men can ride scooties. In fact, of the total scooties sold only 40% of them are used only by women, rest 60% are used by both men and women of the family.
    There is also a segment of scooters which caters to the male audience which offers bolder look, muscular stance and nothing else different from the ordinary ones. These include Hero Maestro edge, TVS Jupiter, Yamaha Ray Z and the likes

  • Guest

    Sanjay Natarajan can write articles for PW blog.
    Good writing style + good knowledge + good ideas.

  • Sanjay Natarajan

    Hey, thanks buddy for the wide-hearted appreciation! 🙂

  • Sanjay Natarajan

    You’re welcome bro, BTW sorry for replying late, tied up with too much work.
    The answers for your questions:
    1. The cheapest scooty in India is the TVS Scooty pep+, is a 90cc petrol engine vehicle with CVT transmission costs approx Rs.47000 on-road.
    (Additional info-The term scooty was coined by TVS motors for their ladies’scooters which now is used to call all scooters in common irrespective of the brand.)
    2. All scooters run on petrol, save for a few electric scooters which are not bought by many.
    3. They offer same safety levels of a bike in terms of braking, though they can’t match the handling prowess of a bike. It handles decently. (Don’t expect abs though few motorcycles offer it)

  • Rana Fahim

    Salam Mujtaba bhai.
    I ve just been introduced to Pakwheels and its blogs. Though i knew about its existence. Yet never used it till now. As i am facing the classic problem of a Pakistani Automobile Buyer regarding which car to buy. So in this regard i wanted to pick your brains to help me make a beneficial decision.. Here’s my E.mail i.d rana.faimz.pml@gmail.com..if you’d be kind enough to contact me over this and help a brother out..thanking you in anticipation.. Looking forward to hearing from you soon