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Pakistan: 700 women ride bikes to claim public space, shun violence

Friday 18 May 2018, by siawi3

Source: https://dailytimes.com.pk/239742/700-women-ride-bikes-to-claim-public-space-shun-violence/

Punjab
700 women ride bikes to claim public space, shun violence

Photo: 700 customised motorcycles were distributed among selected candidates as part of Women on Wheels initiative

Agencies

May 14, 2018

LAHORE: Under the Women on Wheels Scheme, the Chief Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit (SRU), in collaboration with the Transport Department, Bank of Punjab and Honda Atlas distributed 700 motorcycles on subsidised rates among women at a function held at the Alhmara Hall on Sunday.

Punjab Excise Minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman handed over keys of motorbikes to as many as 700 women as part of the first phase of the historic Women on Wheels Subsidised Motorbikes Scheme after which a ‘Women on Wheels’ mega rally was organised outside the Alhamra Arts Council.

Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Chief Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit Director General Salman Sufi and others led the rally.

According to reports, the candidates were selected through a transparent and stringent balloting process in which five district verification committees verified the documentation provided.

The call for applications for the Women-on-Wheels Subsidised Motorbikes Scheme had closed on March 25. An overwhelming number of applications were received from the districts of Lahore, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Multan and Rawalpindi.

In the second phase, 1,000 motorbikes will be handed over, while the remaining 1,326 will be provided in the last phase.

Speaking on the occasion, Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman said that the main aim of the Women-on-Wheels rally was to award selected candidates’ subsidised Honda CD-70 dream motorbikes, which have been specially customised for this very campaign.

He said that motorbikes were given to women hailing from five districts, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Multan and Rawalpindi where the first phase of the WoW campaign was launched.

He said that the ultimate aim of the campaign was to empower women to reclaim public space in the country as well as inspire them to become agents of change in the country, especially as a counter-narrative to existing soaring headlines pertaining to violence against women in the country.

It might be mentioned that the Chief Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit had introduced the Women-on-Wheels initiative in collaboration with the respective City Traffic Police, district governments and Honda Atlas in November 2015 to empower women through provision of free motorcycle trainings.

The campaign was launched in Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Sargodha where over 3,500 women were trained.

The launch of subsidized motorbike scheme is a continuation of the Women-on-Wheels scheme which aims to provide empowerment to the working and independent women of Punjab.