Safe and Dignified Transport for Working Women

Core Recommendations By
Working Women Welfare Trust

The number of women involved in economic activity is rapidly increasing with the worsening of
economic crises in the country. Especially for women from the lower socio-economic strata who
already have numerous challenges to face, traveling in public transport to commute to work
daily is an ordeal. They have to endure mental and physical stresses damaging their health. They
waste hours at the bus stop to enter already overcrowded buses with men only with a very small
portion reserved for women near driver seats.

Women often complain of harassment, embarrassment, humiliation, indecent behavior of
conductors and drivers of buses, derogatory remarks passed by men, and inappropriately touched by
men not only on the buses but also at standing at the bus stops. Many times men keep hanging on
the entrance of women’s portions sandwiching women commuters. Other means of transport like
rickshaws and chinches are also not safe and dignified.

WWWT has been working on this grave issue since 2007, and on the basis of the survey conducted
by WWWT then, it came to light that 65% of working women need transport to proceed their
workplace and 93% demanded buses exclusively for women or women-friendly buses.

The issue needed prompt attention, action, proper planning based on desegregated surveys
showing growing needs of working ladies, legislation as well as enforcement of laws through
efficient police system.

Important Proposals And Suggestions From Working Women Welfare Trust Are As

  1. Women need a reliable, timely, safe, and dignified transport system.
  2. Improving mass transport system through proper planning, surveys based on desegregated data
    representing growing needs of women using transport.
  3. Funds need to be sanctioned for this by the local, provincial and federal governments on
    priority basis.
  4. Women exclusive buses as well as women-friendly buses needed to be plied on roads.
  5. The portion reserved for women in buses needed to be increased in the buses. This portion should
    be at the back of buses instead of the front as done in Saudi Arabia and Iran. Proper barriers or
    partitions should be there so that ladies’ portion is not encroached upon for entrance and exit by
  6. All buses must have a locking doors system that should be made mandatory through legislation.
    Licenses to buses must be given on this condition (locking doors).
  7. All buses plying on roads must have armed guards. Security guards need to have emergency
    backup support from a professional security agency.
  8. Shuttle service for working women should be introduced in the morning from 7 am to 9 am
    and evening from 4 pm to 6 pm.
  9. Organizations employing women should be obliged to provide pick and drop services through
    proper legislation.
  10. Strict laws prohibiting all types of recordings in public transport should be implemented.
  11. Bus routes should be planned to provide accessibility to women near their workplaces.
  12. Civic sense should be invoked in public through media.
  13. The idea of pink buses or women-only buses was proposed by Sindh Govt. but failed to take
    off because of the failure of administration. It should be revived with practical solutions.

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