22,000 Bikes to Women
Pakistan’s federal government recently unveiled a commendable undertaking known as the Prime Minister’s Women on Wheels program. This groundbreaking scheme aims to provide 22,000 motorbikes to deserving women across the country. This move is not just a statement but a commitment to women’s empowerment, and it paves the way for much-needed change.
Benefits for Women Across the Country
Implementation and Role of National Commission on the Status of Women
The National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) is entrusted with the significant task of overseeing this programme’s execution. They’ve enthusiastically accepted the challenge, pledging to implement the Rs4476.17 million project with utmost diligence and commitment. Thousands of diligent women, including employed individuals, entrepreneurs, students, and polio workers, from Quetta to Kashmir, stand to benefit from this scheme.
Economic and Social Empowerment Through the Program
The Impact on Employment and Mobility
The programme is a step forward in enabling women’s mobility and promoting their economic and social empowerment. The bikes will act as a catalyst, helping women reach their workplaces, colleges, or marketplaces with ease and autonomy. Isn’t it something remarkable when a simple set of wheels can lead to such a profound transformation?
The Positive Shift in Social Norms
Moreover, this programme encourages societal change. In a society where the sight of women on motorbikes is rare and men traditionally dominate the roads, this initiative is a positive step towards gender equality.
The Punjab Government’s Support for the Initiative
The Provision of Scooties to Permanent Women Employees
In an act of solidarity, the Punjab government has also decided to provide scooties to all female teachers, lady polio workers, women health workers, and working women in all government and semi-government institutions across the province. The scooties, however, will only be given to permanent women employees.
The Financial Implications for Recipients
In a practical move, these Bikes will be provided to the female employees on a monthly instalment of Rs2,500 to Rs3,000, depending on their employment status. This ensures that the financial burden does not outweigh the benefits.
The Wider Social Impact of the Program
Addressing Traditional Gender Norms
An official involved in the initiative stated, “The initiative is not just to enable women to ride bikes, but is also creating general awareness on road safety and regulations.
An integral aspect of this initiative is the economic empowerment of women, achieved by offering them employment opportunities as delivery service providers in collaboration with private sector enterprises.
Empowering Women in the Less-privileged Strata of Society
It’s not just about employment, though. The programme has also been designed to empower women from the less-privileged strata of society who want to ride bikes but are unable to buy them.
Encouraging Safe Driving Practices
Interestingly, the program also highlights the safety that women drivers bring to the roads. The record shows that a very small number of women car drivers were issued traffic tickets last year as they rarely commit any traffic violations.
The Potential for Widespread Change
This innovative programme holds the potential to bring about a significant transformation in society. By empowering women with wheels, it promotes gender equality, socio-economic development, and safer driving practices. As it rolls out across the country, we can look forward to seeing an increase in the visibility of women on the roads, symbolizing their journey towards freedom and empowerment.