Pakistan is a country where the format of society is undoubtedly patriarchal. In this form of the society, the male head of the family is to lead the rest and adhere to his wishes. In a society such as ours, girls usually don’t get to explore the world or break barriers and taboos. You might have seen a girl pillion riding, but have you seen one riding solo on a bike?
However, a picture, courtesy of Zahra Hajyani, that surfaced social media forums the other day, a girl riding a bike (not a scooty) on the streets of Karachi has brought a smile on many faces, while it may have also angered more than a few.
The girl, wearing a schoolbag and riding her bike somewhere near Saddar, has taken a bold step that many women in distress cannot. Just as men who work or study, do not prefer traveling via public transport, buy motorbikes for themselves so they can travel as per their own will in a very cheap and cost effective manner. The same girls and women, who work and study, but do not want to travel via public transport, do not ride bikes.
The girl pictured has broken all barriers and crossed all boundaries to live in her comfort. She definitely does not give much attention or heed to people noticing or eyeballing her while she makes her life easier.
As a reaction, the people of Pakistan absolutely loved the girl’s brave antics and decision of breaking all social taboos!
Comments on the girl’s picture read:
” I have seen her so many times near my house and i always wanted to appreciate her if i see her again ill show this to her”
“personally felt too good for this girl .. May Allah give her more courage and confidence
so that she may ride on road safely and peacefully.. ameeen”
“Only broad and open minded nationalists will have true smile on face and cheerful heart in chest after seeing that women are now in their way of getting equality in our country”
“Yes, I once saw her near Do Talwar.
I guess she’s a university student”
“More power to you sister!“
However, there were some who questioned the move as well..
“Put your Life on Risk alongside Your Brothers is What kind of Courage??”
“Jesi bhi chalai pr larko tk nhi pohonch skti bike riding main”
“I dnt knw if it is safe riding in karachi especially..”
As they say, ‘jitne log, utni baaten’, however, the majority of the people who have reacted to the picture on different mediums have applauded her courage and the fact that she chose to carry on with her life and not let petty issues of society affect her stance and motivation of getting things done. More power to the girls who believe in breaking stereotypes!