The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board (KPITB) on Wednesday presented an upgraded ‘The Safe Women’ mobile phone application developed for female commuters of Pink Sakura Buses.
The app has been upgraded to allow commuters to connect with their family and friends while travelling through live location sharing feature, according to an official statement.
“Through this safety app, women and girls can share their live location with trusted contacts, give distress signals to family and friends, call police emergency numbers, rate the safety level of the location and check the live location of the buses,” said Managing Director KPITB Dr Shahbaz Khan while giving the demo of the fresh features.
Safe Women is an initiative of the KPITB for the ‘Sakura Bus Project’ of the K-P government with financial support from Japan and technical support from UN Women Pakistan and UNOPS.
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Adviser to Chief Minister on Information Technology Ziaullah Bangash, female members of provincial assembly, representatives from Trans Peshawar – Sakura Bus Operating Company, KPCSW officials, and UN Women and UNOPS representatives were present during the demo.
Under the project, UNOPS Pakistan procured 14 buses and constructed 31 pre-fabricated bus stops, fitted with solar panels to provide a constant source of illumination.
The bus route was developed in collaboration with the Transport and Planning Engineering Unit (TPU) to ensure the bus route covers educational institutions and main activity centres.
The bus service aims to increase women’s mobility and enable women to have greater access to employment and education opportunities.
The CM's adviser praised UN Women’s efforts for working towards creating a safe working environment for the women of K-P and expressed his desire for expanding the scale of the Safe Women App across the province.
Ayesha Bano, member of provincial assembly and general secretary of the Women Parliamentary Caucus, said that information technology could play a great role in ensuring safety of vulnerable population and that Safe Women app would enable the users to stay connected with their families and feel safe during their travel time.
“UN Women Pakistan, as the specialised agency for promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women, has worked together with KPITB on this mobile application to facilitate female commuters on Pink Sakura buses in two cities of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa," said Zainab Qaiser Khan, head of sub-office UN Women K-P.
Women’s safety in public places is very important for their well-being as well as economic empowerment, she added.