By: Anum Afzal
RAWALPINDI: I would like to raise an important issue through your newspaper which has long been troubling working women. About 80 per cent of working and university-going women use public transport in Rawalpindi on a daily basis. The trouble that they face every single day is the continuous refusal of van and bus conductors to let women board the vehicles. It is understandable on their part, as more men use public transport than women, but women are also an important part of our working population and need transport regularly. The refusal of conductors causes women to be late for work and classes.
Indeed, seats for women are reserved in front of public transport vehicles and behind the driver’s seat, but these are filled with men in the mornings and evenings, and there seem to be no laws to curtail this blatant encroachment of women’s rights. The Metro Bus project in Rawalpindi is appreciable in this regard but there is still time left in its completion and inauguration. Till then, some educated and honest officer of the Rawalpindi Transport Authority should look into the matter and resolve this problem for thousands of women of Rawalpindi. There needs to be widespread recognition that utilising public services is a basic right for women just as much as for men and that that women are an integral part of the workforce too.