Working Pakistani women lament about transportation woes

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Islamabad, Feb. 1 (ANI): A bus ride between the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad usually proves to be a nightmarish experience for the working women, housewives and girl students, as they are often verbally and sexually abused by foul-mouthed van and bus conductors.

During a survey by the Daily Times, most working women and girl students said that they did not feel safe while standing at bus stops or travelling in a bus or van, as majority of drivers constantly ogled at them through mirrors.

"While driving, most of the time they stare at us through the mirrors instead of looking ahead. They not only watch us, but also pass a smile and sometimes dig their elbows into our bodies, especially when two women are seated in the front seat," Shaheena Iqbal, a student of Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), said.

Another irritant, they said, was that drivers play high-pitched vulgar songs causing them embarrassment.

Since hiring a cab is bit expensive these days, many woman have to wait for a bus until the rush thins down. As a result, they get late for their destinations where they have to justify their late arrival.

"Sometimes, when I reach the office late due to the unprecedented rush of commuters at my bus stop every morning, I see a red circle round my name in the attendance register. After reaching my desk, sometimes I have to see the boss and answer his questioning," a burqa-clad working woman said.

Though tall claims have been made by almost all governments to launch a separate public transport system for women, nothing concrete has been done in this regard, women complain. (ANI)

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