Monday May 14 2018

'Women on Wheels' surprise Lahore in move for independence, mobility

Image Courtesy: Twitter/MEESHA SHAFI/@itsmeeshashafi

LAHORE: Dozens of women swarmed the city's roads Sunday evening as they rode motorcycles as part of the 'Women on Wheels Scheme' rally, which aimed to further the cause of women's independence.

Under the scheme, 700 women were gifted motorcycles by the Government of Punjab in an event that comprised a tableau as well as the aforementioned rally, including 60-70 women driving their bikes, as the concluding element.

"You will see now more women on bikes in coming days," said Nighat Dad, a rights activist.

Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, the provincial minister for excise, taxation & narcotics control department, distributed the bikes to dozens of women, following which the ladies took their new rides for a spin from Al-Hamra Hall to Egerton Road in Garhi Shahu.

Joining the joyous event were rockstar Meesha Shafi and Zenith Irfan, a biker who rides a "150cc motorcycle […] across the Himalayas".

It was "a liberating experience", Shafi noted.

Of the many reasons the women were happy about, perhaps the most important one was that the bikes would make mobility convenient for them.

Moreover, others were glad that this would help break the taboo that women should remain in enclosed in the 'four walls of their homes' and couldn't go out for groceries lest they ignore their children.

Many of the women, both at home and outside participating in the event, took to Twitter to express their celebratory mood.

"Motorcycles are an amazing mode of transport," said one of the participants.

"[This move] will prove to be quite beneficial to women," said another.