COMMUTING as a woman in Pakistan is one of the most daunting, uncomfortable and unsafe experiences one can have simply because the unruly behaviour of drivers working for various cab services is mostly enabled by societal norms. The absence of an effective customer service further contributes to the sense of insecurity and vulnerability among the women.

The situation is further worsened by the fact that the hiring process of drivers lacks professionalism. There are no proper and reliable background checks in this regard, and everybody knows that. This makes the very idea of sharing with a complete stranger the closed cabin of a car makes one feel insecure. But there is not much of a choice for the commuters.

The unavailability of effective public transport worsens the situation. Had well-planned and efficient public transport been available, women would have had the much safer choice for their daily commute.

The government should provide relief at the earliest to a major segment of society. Public transport should be overhauled to make commute easier and safer for women. Besides, the cab services should be compelled to improve their hiring process and security steps to make travelling a safe experience.

Maneha Tamsaal
Islamabad

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2024

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