KARACHI: Abdul Sattar Edhi Avenue played host to a group of 15 female bicyclists on Sunday morning, as a group of girls held a rally from McDonald’s to Salt n Pepper Village.
The rally, titled ‘Girls on Bikes’, was hosted by Girls at Dhabas, a group that promotes women claiming public spaces. “We did it last year as well and this year the idea was to keep it going and let the girls come out and interact with each other,” said one of the members of Girls at Dhabas, Natasha Ansari.
Similar rallies were held concurrently in Lahore and Islamabad. The reason for holding these rallies is to make a collective effort for women to interact with each other and make it easier for them to access public spaces, explained Ansari.
Minal Rehman, a student from the Indus Valley School of Art and Artchitecture and a participant of the rally, said events like this should be organised more frequently. Rehman also participated in last year’s Girls on Bikes rally. “The timings should be earlier for cycling,” she suggested. Agreeing with her, another participant pointed out that the rally should be held earlier, at about 7am.
Ansari wore a sign on her back in solidarity with victims of the attack in Parachinar and to mark her protest against the bomb blast. “I wore [the sign] so that I can also record my protest as there is a lot of discussion on social media about the lack of media coverage and no discussion over the lives lost,” said Ansari.
Full Throttle Pakistan was also present at the event to rent out bicycles and helmets to the participants who did not have their own, thereby increasing the number of people who could participate in the rally. They were renting out the bicycles for Rs600.