The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board (KPITB) on Wednesday launched an upgraded version of the ‘Safe Women’ mobile phone application developed for female commuters of the Pink Sakura Buses.
Following the procurement of the women-only buses in Mardan and Abbottabad, the app has been upgraded to allow commuters to connect with their family and friends while travelling through its live location-sharing feature, according to a press release issued by UN Women Pakistan.
Safe Women is an initiative of the KPITB for the Sakura Bus Project of the KP government with financial support from the Government of Japan and technical support from UN Women Pakistan and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
A demonstration of the upgraded app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play store and the Apple App Store, was arranged by the KPITB on Wednesday. It was attended by the Adviser to the Chief Minister on Information Technology Ziaullah Bangash, female members of the provincial assembly, representatives from Trans Peshawar-Sakura Bus Operating Company, KPCSW officials, and UN Women and UNOPS representatives.
“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,” shared KPITB Managing Director Dr Shahbaz Khan while giving the demo.
Chief minister's adviser Bangash applauded UN Women’s efforts for working towards creating a safe working environment for the women of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and expressed his desire for the app's scale to be expanded across the province.
Zainab Qaiser Khan, the head of UN Women KP, said that UN Women Pakistan has worked together with KPITB on the mobile application to facilitate female commuters on the Pink Sakura Buses in two cities of KP. She said that women’s safety in public places is very important for their wellbeing as well as economic empowerment, according to the press release.
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 it covers educational institutions and main activity centres.