Why can’t women ride motorbikes?

I fail to see how a woman riding a motorcycle would be against the tenets of one’s culture or faith.

Ema Anis September 27, 2011
It wasn’t long ago when I saw her. I remember how stunned people were as soon as they caught a glimpse of her. She was a fat woman, wearing a dark grey men’s kurta with sleeves half-rolled, riding a motorcycle.

Yes, you read it right. She was a middle-aged woman, riding a Honda 70 on Karachi’s roads, with a man sitting behind her. This often makes me wonder; being a girl, why am I deprived of enjoying this convenient form of personal commutation without having a million eyes ogling at me? It saves time and is amazingly economical, if nothing else.

Studying at the University of Karachi’s humungous campus, it irritates me every time I am walking and a motorbike skids past me.

Everyone remembers the massive uproar in various countries, including Pakistan, when a woman was sent to jail in Saudi Arabia for driving a vehicle. Newspapers carried dozens of blogs and other related articles on the issue. Most were sharply critical of the decision to send the woman to jail, just because she wanted to drive a car.

It troubles me. I wanted to ask all my fellow countrymen – are women in this country any different? If driving a car is a basic right of a woman, which has nothing to do with religion, then how is riding a motorbike any different?

People conveniently blame our culture for it. But if it really was for our culture, then we would not be seeing women, beautifully draped in saris, riding scooties in India, since that is the country which has a culture that is the closest to ours.

If not culture, then they will bring in religion. I don’t claim to be a religious scholar but I fail to see how a woman riding a motorcycle would be against the tenets of one’s faith.

The media serves as a stimulus for a lot of acts that people as a society end up doing, and this is exactly what is needed here as well. Television channels need to show more and more women riding motorcycles and bicycles so that ordinary women and girls understand that there is nothing wrong with this. This will also send a much-needed signal to Pakistani men.
Ema Anis
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Geordie | 12 years ago | Reply I see nithing wrong with Capable women riding motorbikes and with a msn riding pillion with such women. I nhave done tis many ntimes throughout my life. Unfortunately bI cannot now do it for physical reasons (I'm crippled. I enjoyed riding pilliom with all but one woman out of sbout 40 or 50 different women of varfious ages shapes and sizes. I just avoided short women because I am tall and weigh ovefr 90kgs (now)
mik | 12 years ago | Reply I can give a few suggestions to the girls who wish to ride bikes. see no man would be able to stare at you if you drive fast. 2nd thing is, you can wear an upper, or some coat which could cover your body. 3rd, you should wear jeans and a little long shirt while driving. fix your hair with pony, In simple words, try to look like a college or University student. "The people will stare me" is a sentence which shows that you are not confident. Learn how to drive because it the most dangerous thing to ride on. men khush hoon na hoon bhai bohat khush hoonge.
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ