Women’s Transportation Hackathon Launched to Create Focused Solutions

Pakistan Innovation Foundation – an apolitical non-profit dedicated to using innovation to bring about a transformation in the Pakistani society – launched the Women’s Transportation Innovation Challenge and Hacatkhon this week.

There are millions of women who use public transportation to get to work or educational institutions in Pakistan and because many face discrimination, both economic and social, a Woman Transportation Hackathon was launched here by Pakistan Innovation Foundation and its partner organizations. With support from the private sector such as Toyota Pakistan and development sector players such as UN Women the hackathon features judges and mentors from leading organizations.

What’s the Hackathon Aiming to Achieve and Who’s Invited?

Primarily aimed at solving the challenge of creating convenient, affordable, and respectable transport for thousands of women commuters between the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The hackathon invites innovative solutions from Pakistanis around four major themes, namely, communications and behavioural change to make women’s use of transport more acceptable within society and address cultural taboos such as one around a woman riding a scooter;  use of innovative technologies, mobile apps, and internet of things to enhance the effectiveness and safety of current transport options; create new business models for sustainable transport for women; and design and create new forms of transport attuned to the needs of women.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report, Pakistan comes second to last in terms of gender equality worldwide. The International Labour Organization (ILO) says barely 1/5 of Pakistan’s women work in paid jobs primarily because of the lack of safe and secure public transportation. These indicators signal a dire need to facilitate women’s access to resources.

Entries will be accepted till August 31st, 2015

The Women’s Transport Innovation Challenge and Hackathon is one of several challenges announced this year under the National Innovation Grand Challenge 2015 and will take entries until August 31st, 2015. A Hackathon is scheduled for Sept 11-13, 2015 whereby short-listed teams of innovators and entrepreneurs shall be invited to work through the weekend to create solutions to Women’s transport problems.

The hackathon was launched on the day of Pakistan’s independence symbolically because its designers believe that any real progress of the country depends largely on the empowerment of half of its population – the women, in their attempts to get an education or seek employment.

Dr. Athar Osama, the Founder and CEO of the Foundation said:

Pakistan Innovation Foundation is deeply committed to helping Pakistanis create innovative solutions to Pakistan’s many social and economic challenges. We strongly believe women’s transportation is one such problem that is crying for an innovative solution.

Only by creating innovative solutions for women’s mobility challenges can “empowered women and girls become the best ‘drivers’ of growth at home, within their community and for the economy as a whole”, said Jamshed Kazi, UN Women Country Representative, Pakistan, a partner of the Innovation Challenge.

Rs.175,000 is up for grabs in prize money for teams participating in the September 11-13 Hackathon

The Launch of this Women’s Hackathon is a clear indication that it time for Women to #TakeBackTheWheel and come forward and play their part in the socio-economic development of the country.

PIF and its partners are offering Rs. 175,000 in prize money for teams participating in the Sept 11-13 Hackathon including the first prize of PKR 100,000. More importantly, though, they are offering mentoring and advice through PIF’s Innovation Accelerator to teams seeking to take their ideas forward to fruition.

To make submissions, contestants must visit www.pif.org.pk/takebackthewheel.

  • please design something cheap and safe for students like me too … something which is NOT a motorbike and is financially reasonable too…

    not only women face these problems , y’know ?

      • 20 … and i can’t really afford a car (a new one costs around 0.6 million pkr with 2nd hand models of reasonable quality ranging from 0.3-0.5 million) and Motorcycles are way too unsafe on Pakistani roads … so if they could design something along the lines of a REALLY cheap and affordable car … like a single seater….

        that’d really solve my problems !

        • I m 18…going to be 19 in less than a month

          does Pakistan manufacture cars and bikes? like India has TATA …Maruti…Mahindra….waise Pakistan mein hai koi automobile company?

          • yar wese Suzuki yahan manufacture hoti hai aur Toyota k kuch models Toyota Indus Motor company banati h …
            but nothing you can call cheap and “student” friendly …

            not much of a bike guy so don’t have much info on that…

            you guys have it much MUCH better … the new automatic alto you guys have is brilliant and once that Tata nano goes automatic , you guys have a madman’s bargain :/ !

            i wish tata could sell a few thousand of those TATA NANO AMT to us … i’d gladly buy one !

            my uni is quite far from home … about an hour if i take the over crowded bus .. im almost always late for class :/

            but if we had cheap cars or at least cheap minis …. i could potentially halve the ETA …
            bikes are wayy too dangerous on our roads… so thats a no-go.

            i guess it’ll take a good amount of time before we get cheap cars…

            • TATA Nano ka Engine peeche ko hai….agar accident hua toh bachne ka no chance…however the new models r coming with air bags

              • Engine to ferrari ka bhi peeche hai lol. Also the new Tesla S has its engine on the rear side! You guys are lucky to have Mr. Tata! We do have entrepreneurs like him such as Mian Mansha and Malik Riaz but none has taken this kinda initiative yet

                • we need cheap cars(below 0.3 million price mark) . Period.

                  Electric two seaters with Home Charging are most welcome !

                  • Who doesn’t want electric cars with a price mark below 0.3 million? But the thing is the major automobile players such as Suzuki, Toyota etc won’t let this happen. Also the petroleum giants such as Shell, Caltex, Total etc would make sure that Pakistanis don’t get the electric cars solution. Its not gonna happen any time soon! The agony of living in Pakistan!

                • but do they sell tata and mahindra cars there? if not then how u know of Indian firms like micromax flipkart mahindra tata?

                  • nope … i wish you guys would export a portion of your best priced produced over to us (cheapest new cars you have and the best value phones u make) , cos we need it and the trade will help bolster relations b/w the two countries …

                    as for my knowledge of India-exclusive brands … well , lets just say i have been on the computer from an age that predates and supersedes most people’s normal expectations ;)

                    • oh so they dont show ads of Indian products….then how do the rest know of them?

                      Btw Pakistan should rather make friendly ties with India to avoid Isolation….just read an Article on China-Pak Economic Corridor on a verge of getting sabotaged

                    • link to that article ?

                      yeah , i know man , we could use the additional help … esp with the way India is progressing … both countries have similar development characteristics but you guys are doing it better.

                    • brother i think the fault lies at both sides … you know , as the saying goes “Taali Ek Haath nai bajti”

                      if both sides agree to sit down and talk and forget all the past conflicts and differences … the subcontinent would be a much better place !

                    • well that’s impossible….Pakistan was created with the idea that muslims cant live with non muslims…so I dont think there will sver be peace…..besides our politicians are like in their 60s-70s so they belong to the period when partition had just happened….toh unke mentality aur humaare mentality mein fark hai…but when the youth will take over the politicial system then only we will get to see the change

                    • we spit on your indian black face as today we did on your that fat pig i wonder are you looking guy for your sis in pak site same like your pk movies always look paki guys unlike your impotent hindus

                    • ur ammi jaan is a [email protected] who sukkks Indian lingam 24×7
                      whenever I take off my clothes infront of ur ugly black hideous ammi her yoni starts opening and closing as if asking for some real nice pounding….and then she starts fingering herself vigorously
                      but she is so hideous and ugly that I end up pi$$$$$inggg nd defecating on her

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