150 women participate in motorcycle rally on The Mall

Published: January 11, 2016
Advocate Asma Jahangir rides pillion (L) Two participants get set for the rally (R). PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS

Advocate Asma Jahangir rides pillion (L) Two participants get set for the rally (R). PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS

LAHORE: The Women on Wheels (WoW) project was launched on Sunday with a motorcycle rally for women on The Mall.

A total of 150 women motorcyclists, who completed training from the Special Monitoring Unit on Law and Order and City Traffic Police, took part in the rally.

SMU launches motorbike training for women

Austrian Ambassador Brigitta Balaha and former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jehangir also participated in the rally. Minister for Population Welfare Zakia Shahnawaz, Minister for Women Development Hameeda Waheedud Din, Special Monitoring Unit Senior Member Salman Sufi, Danish Ambassador Helen Neilson, American Consul General Zackary Harkenrider, UN Women Country Representative Jamshed Qazi and a prominent motorcyclist from Singapore, Juvena Huan, were present on the occasion.

Women participants of Women on Wheels (WOW) prepare to ride their motorbikes during a rally launching the Women on Wheels campaign in Lahore on January 10, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

On the instructions of the chief minister, pink scooties will be given to working women and girl students under the WoW project. The distribution will start on International Women’s Day on March 8.

Talking to media after the rally, Hameeda Waheedud Din said that the participation of women in development process was essential for achieving the aim of national progress and prosperity.

Women participants of Women on Wheels (WOW) raise their helmets at the start of a rally launching the Women on Wheels campaign in Lahore on January 10, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

She said that the Punjab government was taking effective measures for the elimination of gender discrimination, change in social mindsets and ensuring active participation of women in all sectors of the economy.

Against all odds: On her motorcycle, 26-year-old girl glides through Karachi

Women participants of Women on Wheels (WOW) ride their motor-bikes during a rally launching the Women on Wheels campaign in Lahore on January 10, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

She said that in view of transport problems faced by women, the government had taken various mitigation measures. “On the instructions of the government, free training is being imparted to women to ride motorcycles under the aegis of Special Monitoring Unit,” she said.

She said that on International Women’s Day, 1,000 scooties would be distributed among women. Referring to various challenges and problems being faced by women, the minister said that equal rights and encouragement were being given to women so that they could play their role in the society.

Women participants of Women on Wheels (WOW) ride their motor-bikes during a rally launching the Women on Wheels campaign in Lahore on January 10, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Zakia Shahnawaz said that provision of equal opportunities of development to women was the responsibility of the Punjab government. “No effort will be spared for making the Women on Wheels project successful. The government will continue the process of legislation for empowerment of women,” she said.

Women participants of Women on Wheels (WOW) wait on their motor-bikes prior to the start of a rally launching the Women on Wheels campaign in Lahore on January 10, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Empowering women: 100 bicycles distributed among UAF students

Brigitta Balaha said that provision of opportunity and facilities to Pakistani women was a commendable step.

Zachary Harkenrider said that it was an honour for him to see the historic rally of motorcyclist women.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2016.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (26)

  • Sceptic
    Jan 11, 2016 - 8:38AM

    Well done, Punjab. Shahbaz Sharif is a trend setter. Punjab’s progress in general and its focus on women development is worth appreciating.Recommend

  • Saiqa
    Jan 11, 2016 - 11:57AM

    I am moving to Punjab. Wish our KPK government will start working on things that actually. Had a lot of expectations that they will champion women rights but they have turned out a big disappointment. Still there is time please wake up and make KPK a model province like you guys promise in 2013.Recommend

  • Topgun
    Jan 11, 2016 - 11:58AM

    Haters gonna hate but PMLn is continuously delivering. Shahbaz Sharif you are the man. Other CMCMs don’t even come close.Recommend

  • China girl
    Jan 11, 2016 - 11:59AM

    An excellent initiative. More power to women.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Jan 11, 2016 - 1:23PM

    Punjab no doubt is a model of development for other provinces and dimwits ruling their respective pockets in Pakistan. Shahbaz Sharif is the ultimate man!Recommend

  • Jan 11, 2016 - 1:31PM

    More power to women. Well done!Recommend

  • Imran Ahmed
    Jan 11, 2016 - 2:29PM

    Long overdue. Women should have full freedom of movement and equal opportunity in all spheres of education and employment. Gender discrimination should become a distant memory like a long forgotten bad smell!Recommend

  • Kashan
    Jan 11, 2016 - 2:38PM

    In Sindh, we are waiting…..Recommend

  • Syed Irfan Ali
    Jan 11, 2016 - 3:05PM

    When will other provinces wake up??Recommend

  • EvilEye
    Jan 11, 2016 - 3:18PM

    They will have now very good excuse….Recommend

  • Mohsin
    Jan 11, 2016 - 3:41PM

    so they do it on their side now it time for males to support them on roads.. Recommend

  • KP_PTI
    Jan 11, 2016 - 6:25PM

    Another day. Another project for Lahore. Do not complain about the federation when everything is done in Lahore only.Recommend

  • Asad
    Jan 11, 2016 - 6:56PM

    Asma Jehangir has violated the traffic law by not wearing the helmetRecommend

  • Malik Saab
    Jan 11, 2016 - 7:14PM

    @Sceptic: Well this is the idea of Elected Women representative of Punjab. So kindly give the credit to Women Parliamentarians of Punjab and the Civil Society members like Asma Jahangir for Support. We should stop this one man appreciation all the time. For the progress many good minds come together. Recommend

  • Arslan
    Jan 11, 2016 - 7:21PM

    On a lighter note hope all of them had valid motor bike license.Recommend

  • Razi
    Jan 11, 2016 - 8:08PM

    Someone please book a ticket for riding the bike without a helmet.

    Being a lawyer doesn’t put you above the law!Recommend

  • Raghu
    Jan 11, 2016 - 8:58PM

    This is a Punjab government supported project. Please ask CM KPK why he is sleeping instead of blaming the federation.Recommend

  • Raghu
    Jan 11, 2016 - 9:00PM

    @Malik Saab:
    Malik Sb Shahbaz Sharif deserves full credit for supporting the women parliamentarians. These women parliamentarians also belonged to PMLn hence indirectly again kudos goes to Shahbaz Sharif. PMLn MNA Maiza Hameed was leading the rally. Use burial if the pain is beyond control.Recommend

  • Jan 11, 2016 - 9:42PM

    Punjab is really leading the change. Sindh is still living in the distant past of doing nothing. Karachi will catch up again and show the way how it’s done. Salamis Recommend

  • Proud Pakistani
    Jan 11, 2016 - 10:36PM

    Asma Jehangir is a respected role model. At a minimum she should be wearing/holding a helmet to give off a strong safety signal to the masses.Recommend

  • Shahid Pirzada
    Jan 12, 2016 - 12:54AM

    A step in the right direction. Great.Recommend

  • Hameed
    Jan 12, 2016 - 2:50AM

    Why are they wearing RSS colours? Hindians must be happy.Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Jan 12, 2016 - 11:40AM

    Well done and I very warmly and heartily congratulate both the lady participants and the organizers to hold the event in Lahore which gave a very loud and clear message that Pakistani ladies are as capable as anyone else and she should not be taken as a weaker gender anymore and at times she has even surpassed men. Incidentally, who is the main brain behind it to think such a novel event in Lahore? Who does not know that we have lady pilots to lady surgeons, lady jumpers to lady engineers and the list goes on and on? Smile on the face of the participant ladies gave a very clear signal that they were really very much happy and proud to participate in the event. Moreover, those lady motor cyclists who could have also participated in the said rally but felt reluctant and quite naturally now after seeing these ladies many of them shall be ready to be active participant when the event is held next time. However, I pen that since the event was held in Lahore so it was very much expected that CM Mian Shahbaz Sharif should have been there personally at the event to encourage and pat the lady participants which certainly have boosted the inner spirits of the motor cyclists. Of course, at the end of the event, CM should have given Appreciation Certificates to each and every one who participated in the event which would have been lifetime remembering gift for the lady participants. A group photo with CM had been the last attraction on the event. After such wonderful success in Lahore, I will go a step further saying that the event must be held in Islamabad, Karachi and other cities as well so that the local ladies are encouraged to come out of the four walls of their houses and actively participate in extracurricular activities. The news must be flashed in advance in foreign press so that the news goes out if Pakistan boundaries and I am very much sure that few, if not more, foreign lady sportswomen shall be too excited to come to Pakistan and participate in the event which, as such, shall add extra attraction and glow to the event. Who takes the lead and when it will be repeated again? Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / zaidi.formerdiplomat@hotmail.com / Mobile +965-66229897Recommend

  • MK
    Jan 12, 2016 - 1:39PM

    what era motorcycles they are riding. These type of bikes were used in India during 1980’s. I thought Lahore is a big city but looking at the bikes was shocked. These type of rusty old motorcycles are not even used in remote Indian villages.Recommend

  • MHA
    Jan 12, 2016 - 3:21PM

    @MK Well, at least we don’t have cycle rickshaws here which are driven in your capital city… Recommend

  • LahoriBadsah
    Jan 27, 2016 - 9:26AM

    lol. Just google images of indian motor bikes.Recommend

More in Punjab