Commute Through Public Transport Is Unsafe For Women In Pakistan
Public transport is meant to make things easy for the consumers to commute to their homes and workplaces. Unfortunately, in our country, the public transport is not safe for women commuters due to the ill-behaved males. The same point is reiterated by a recent report ‘Women’s Safety Audit in Public Transport’, conducted by a non-government organization in collaboration with the related departments of The Government of Punjab and UN.
According to this report, 82% of women commuters face harassment at the bus stops in Lahore while 90% of female commuters have to face harassment in one way or the other.
The harassment can be in the form of staring, stalking, obscene statements or gestures, inappropriate touching, and whistling etc. Women traveling on transport by LTC have more experiences of sexual harassment than those traveling through Metro buses.
Most of the women do not let their families know about the sexual harassment they have to face during the commute and keep it low-key. The major reason behind this behavior of women is the patriarchal system of our society. Women do not report such incidents as if they do then there are major chances that their parents or guardians will not allow them to do the job or go for studies.
Although the survey was about female commuters of Lahore, sadly, the same situation prevails all over Pakistan, Here is a video of a survey done by Dawn about harassment of women in public transport. Have a look at it
According to the report, girls and women between 20-29 years of age are the ones getting most affected by this, which poses as a serious threat to the economic growth of our country too as women are a huge part of our economy and if they won’t feel safe then they won’t be allowed to provide their input due to our societal norms and structure. We need young blood for the prosperity of our country disregarding the gender type and it can be only achieved if we make our environment and society free of harassment for any gender.