By: Imran Chaudhry
LAHORE: The City Traffic Police (CTP) Lahore on Thursday restarted its first seven-member lady traffic warden motorcycle-patrolling batch to monitor traffic issues and maintain traffic flow on the major city roads of the city.
Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Sohail Chaudhry inaugurated the ceremony at Liberty Market’s parking lot, where the lady traffic wardens started the patrolling after two to three months’ training.
The headquarters SP, senior traffic officers, officials and a number of citizens were also present on this occasion.
The first batch of lady traffic wardens started patrolling from the Liberty area to Fawara Chowk on Gulberg’s Main Boulevard, and then returned to Liberty Market. Senior traffic officers, officials and other were also with them. A number of citizens who stood on both sides of the road observed the traffic troop along with lady traffic wardens on heavy bikes.
The CTO said that lady traffic wardens namely Saba Noor, Aroosa, Anna Aziz, Sidra Saleem, Sidra Riaz, Sadia and Farzana completed their two-month training under the supervision of qualified traffic officers.
He said that experts from Atlas Honda also provided them complete mechanical training. He added that initially these lady traffic wardens would patrol on specified city roads where they would also perform their duties to maintain the traffic flow in any emergency situation.
The spokesman of the traffic police said that after this new patrolling batch, the second nine-member batch of lady traffic wardens would join them within the next two months. He said that the second batch had also started their training under the supervision of traffic and Atlas Honda experts.
Sources said that traffic officers had assigned patrolling duties to female traffic wardens a few years ago, but transferred all those field wardens to office due to some serious issues faced by female wardens.
They said that traffic officers had again deputed lady traffic wardens on the roads, which was a good sign, adding that now senior and other experts had trained them on how to handle miscreants during duty.
Traffic officials said the female traffic wardens had been driven away for various reasons, but largely because of harassment by men and social pressure that discouraged women from being out there in the streets.
On the issue, a CTP spokesman said that some people had been arrested for harassing female wardens in the past, and if any citizen was found involved in these activities, strict action would be taken against him. He said having women serve as wardens was important, as it sent the message to the public that women could work in jobs traditionally considered for men only.
Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE) Executive Director Bushra Khalid said that having women serving visibly in jobs such as traffic wardens was an important step towards making Pakistani society and public life friendlier for women. She said that the female wardens should serve on the roads and that any complaint of eve-teasing should be addressed under the Protection Against Harassment at the Workplace Bill and Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code.