You know it’s a far cry from feeling safe in your country if you struggle with the idea of moving.
This is what a Facebook user had to deal with while doing her everyday chores.
Driving in Pakistan is a perilous occupation. The chances of getting run over, rammed into, stuck in traffic, are all more likely to happen than reaching somewhere intact, on time.
But being a female and driving in Pakistan?
Few dare to do so.
Using drivers as safety buffers, most women can kid themselves into believing that they are safe with someone else behind the wheel, that they are less likely to be harassed, tail-gated or called out on the road.
This is not true.
Few also seem to look at those who do not have the luxury of keeping a driver. Who wish to drive themselves, without any one else involved. And rightly so. If they have the means, and wish to do so, why not?
Very simply put: because of the men.
It’s not all men, people say. It’s not all women, nor is it all the time.
Why does harassment need to be a 24/7 fixture of women’s lives to be taken seriously?
This woman had been driving in Lahore – one of the supposedly more ‘safer’ places – and had stopped her car briefly to let another pass.
That is when it started.
“In order to give a merging car space to go ahead of me I stopped my slow moving car and honked my horn and about 10 to 15 seconds after I stopped two ultimately very blind gentleman on a motorcycle rear-ended my car going at quite a speed. Although I was baffled as to how they didn’t see my stopped car I pulled over a little further down the road to assess the damage without saying anything further to those gentleman.”
Trying her bare minimum to be antagonistic, it is incredibly telling that the fact she focused on her own well-being and safety, was because she was afraid.
This was not the case of the men who rammed into her.
“As I proceeded to punch my bumper back into place the pulled their motorcycle over near me and proceeded to unleash a stream of very angry expletives the culmination of which was that it was my fault that they rear ended my stopped car and as a female I was a terrible driver. Shaking and a little scared I got back in my car and they left. Not 15 minutes later (let’s assume there is something in the air today) four gentleman on two motorcycles proceeded to amuse themselves by playing cat and mouse and swerving dangerously and repeatedly around my car and trying to run me off a road. Again me being a female driver seems to be the only reason for this strange game unless they have an aversion to me singing along to Drake. After about 5 minutes of trying to speed up, slow down and change lanes I just decided to document what was happening.”
It is so incredibly important that she made public her experience, that she showed the men who publicly and so blatantly went out of their way to scare her and make her uncomfortable.
Informing those who believe it does not happen to women everywhere, bringing to light the men who were behind the harassment and gathering the outraged together to put a stop to it. It is so, so incredibly important.
It is NOT flattering, and it is NOT acceptable.
Knowing your own rights, and the extent of your power as a citizen is incredibly important. While demanding extra security in specific areas is all within your rights as a citizen, it is also necessary for you to speak out if you see abhorring incidents like this occurring around you. There is no wall or barrier that can hold us back if we unite and speak as one. Make the authorities listen to you and that way, sexual harassment and any such issues will, one day, be eradicated for good.