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Buses for women to prevent harassment

Global Goals & Global Society
Buses for women to prevent harassment

Harassment of women on buses is not uncommon in Pakistan. This is now set to change. A project for girls and women is being launched.

Islamabad - In the future, the country's first all-women buses will roll through the streets of Karachi, Pakistan's metropolis of millions. "We are starting with ten vehicles that will travel through the busiest corners of Karachi, a metropolis with more than 20 million inhabitants," Fida Hussain Baladi, spokesman for the local transport authority, told the German Press Agency on Friday.

In the future, however, he said, the number of pink-painted buses should increase and then cover almost the entire city. "The idea behind this is to provide women and girls with safe transportation to get to offices, schools or universities," Baladi said. In addition to passengers, he said, the bus staff will also be female - with the exception of the bus driver.

Harassment on public transportation is a widespread problem in the traditional South Asian country. Metro lines in larger cities have therefore had women's compartments for some time, but they are also frequently used by men.

According to information from the Ministry of Transport, the pink buses will be launched on February 1. Female politicians and celebrities welcomed the project. Pakistani actress Iffat Omar, for example, spoke of a "great contribution to the empowerment of women." A student from Karachi told the German Press Agency: "Thousands of women have to quit their studies or give up their jobs at the request of their conservative families because there is no safe transport." She said the introduction of the women's buses was therefore an "encouraging step."

One in three women globally, according to the World Health Organization, have experienced physical or sexual abuse. Because so many of these atrocities go undetected, many women and men suffer in silence. The recent „Time's Up“ and „Me Too“ movements have raised public awareness of the incidence of sexual harassment in the workplace and motivated numerous organizations and business leaders to acknowledge gender-based violence and sexual harassment as serious business challenges. Worldwide experts from the United Nations and the private sector join together to explore how organizations and leaders may build a safe and equitable work environment on the occasion of the adoption of the first-ever global convention to prevent violence and harassment in the workplace and private life.


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