Harassment on public transportation a daily ordeal for women


Travelling for women using public transportation all over the country, especially in Islamabad, is nothing short of an ordeal. And for the working women and female school or college students it is a daily ordeal. The nuisance for them is caused by foul mouthed drivers who with their vulgar remarks and blatant and brazen stares make travelling for women a painful experience.
Street sexual harassment for a woman in public transport is similar to claustrophobia because she feels trapped in a small place with fear of no escape until she reaches her destination.
If a bus or train is crowded or if a woman is sitting by the window and the man harassing or assaulting her is sitting behind her, she cannot scream or raise her voice since most of the women do not want to get people’s attention in cases like these.
Faiza Bibi is a resident of Bhara Kahu which is a suburban area of the city and she has to travel daily using public transport to reach her workplace. She said most of the drivers harass female passengers; sometimes they even touch the female passenger sitting next to them on the front seats while pretending as if they were merely shifting the gear.
She complained that the behaviour of drivers, especially of the vans plying on the Route Number 127, was unbearable.
“Women have no other option since they have to sit on the front seats, next to the driver, because they are the only seats meant for women,” she explained.
She lamented that the drivers took advantage of the situation by harassing women; sometimes by touching, staring or playing loud vulgar songs but the women commuters usually avoided complaining to anyone because they felt too embarrassed to tell anybody.
Khadija Ali, the legal councillor for the Alliance Against Sexual Harassment (AASHA), told Pakistan Today that the legislation involving the sexual harassment was mostly effective against the untoward behaviour meted out to women at their workplaces.
She suggested that the women who got harassed in the public sector such as public transport or markets should complain to the police and magistrate’s office concerned.
“Women mostly avoid complaining if they get harassed outside the offices and they avoid going to police and courts. Since the promulgation of the Anti-harassment Act most of the women’s complaints are resolved within their organisations or offices,” she explained.
Attiya Nawaz, another commuter, complained that some drivers would put a curtain behind the front seats so that the passengers sitting in the back could not observer driver’s harassing acts.
She said that it was shocking for her when she had complained to a traffic policeman and he told her that he was there to monitor the traffic and that she should report the matter to a women’s police station.
Mariya Jawad, a student, told Pakistan Today, “I cannot afford the pick-and-drop service so I have to travel by the public transport. The drivers and some uncles try to sit close to me by implying that I am just a kid and they are trying to be very nice and caring to me.”
She said her mother always advised her to avoid sitting with uncles but sometimes she had to undergo the unpleasant situation.
According to a survey conducted by the Social Research and Development Organisation (SRDO), 92 percent women prefer to travel in the women-only buses or vans, which is non-existent.
The women harassment in the public transport vehicles creates a sense of anxiety, insecurity and agitation among female passengers and many working women even have to even their jobs because of this. This single issue is directly damaging the careers of working women.
Though the government has planned a women-only public transport system in the past but it too hit a snag because of financial restraints.


  1. There is a need for men to respect women in accordance with sunnah of the prophet (may peace b upon him) . His treatment of women is a guiding light for us.

  2. Seek and get a transportation permit. You might likewise need to turn into an affirmed supplier with your state's division of well being and human administrations. Since you will be transporting patients, you have to be safeguarded against any mischances that could happen.

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