Reclaiming the Road – Amina’s Story

When Amina joined Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE), a women rights organization under Oxfam’s Women Voice and Leadership – Pakistan Project, she did not have any identity of her own.

“I did not have an email address and even the thought of possessing a mobile was out of the question. I had no idea about social media. Now I put up pictures of riding scooty on my Facebook and Instagram. This statement alone can give you an idea regarding how far I have come in my personal journey”, says Amina recalling the old days with tears in her eyes.

Amina comes from androon Lahore” – interior Lahore, considered to be a very conservative area. Women are clad in chaddars and seeing a girl on a motorbike is out of the question. Under the Girls on Wheels programme, a motorbike training program run by the Lahore traffic police, WISE has procured three scooties on a rotational basis for their female staff members. A total of 04 young staff members have been selected for getting training from Rescue 1122 on driving the bikes. Amina is one of them.

“I want to be able to come to the office every day on the bike as it will save me a lot of time and give me full independence. It takes me around 1 to 1.5 hours to reach the office every day. I am usually dependent on my brother or father for calling a rickshaw. I can’t wait to have my own bike and be able to come and go anywhere without a hassle”, says Amina.

Although it has only been one week since the training began, Amina has already learned to balance and is practicing on a bike. The total training program is for one month but she already feels confident enough to enter the roads of Lahore on her own. She thinks that all women should learn how to ride a motorbike and intends to buy a motorbike of her own.

This story was covered by Kanwal Manzoor on 18th November 2021

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