After the American rickshaw wala and the Royal couple’s entry on a specially decorated ride, the Swedish Ambassador to Pakistan took her love for the three-wheel ride to a whole other level.
Swedish ambassador to Pakistan, Ingrid Johansson went ahead and got herself a rickshaw driver’s license. A Lahore police chief was stunned when she passed her driving test.
#FeministFridayIngrid Johansson, Sweden’s Ambassador at Embassy of Sweden in Pakistan uses inventiveness to promote…
Her motive for doing so? Apparently she wanted to shine a light on how hard it is for Pakistani women to get licenses to operate trucks, rickshaws and more.
Ingrid Johansson obtained a rickshaw driving license to promote a feminist foreign policy.
Women having rickshaw driving licenses is pretty bizarre in Pakistan.
Women drivers in Pakistan
There are many service jobs women aren’t accepted in. That’s why female truck drivers, rickshaw drivers, taxi drivers are an anomaly. While we may hail these brave women for venturing into professions branded as ‘a man’s job’, there are no policies to encourage more Pakistani women to join in.
To give you an idea of how hard this is for regular Pakistani women, just imagine this. It took the Ambassador of Sweden herself two years just to take the test. This is why initiatives like ‘Women on Wheels’ matter.
“The police authority, which is responsible for issuing driving licences in Pakistan, seemed troubled by Ingrid Johansson’s attempt to obtain a driving licence and constantly found circumstances to prevent her from doing so.”
As the Sindh chapter of ‘Women on Wheels’ is in motion, the Swedish Embassy is now engaged with the movement. The purpose is to facilitate women’s access to locomotives, because let’s face it. Not many women can really afford cars.
Recently Bykea, a ride-hailing service, partnered with the initiative to hire female riders. Bykea is aware that since most of its customers are men, and a female driver-partner may be uncomfortable picking up a male passenger, it has a mechanism in place to ensure that a female driver is matched to a female passenger.
For now, we can only hope that the Swedish Ambassador’s act makes stakeholders in Pakistan take notice. Pakistani women need their issues to be resolved, and its high time someone in the official circles paid attention.