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Women On Wheels Set To Train 10,000 Women In Sindh Before March 2020

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The Women on Wheels (WoW) programme is all set to be launched in Karachi on the coming Sunday, with the organisation planning to train 10,000 women throughout Sindh to drive a motorcycle before March 2020.

A news report in Geo cited a student of Lyari university, who had signed up for the programme, as saying that she was excited about learning how to drive a motorcycle. The student, Parveen Baloch, added that on one hand, the government did not provide women with a decent mode of transport, and on the other hand, society did not feel it was appropriate for a girl to drive a motorcycle.

“This is the time we break the so-called manacles of patriarchy and become independent,” she added.

WoW will be collaborating with the Sindh government to carry out the programme of training. The programme would be launched at the Frere Hall.

According to WoW’s head, Salman Sufi, the programme aimed at empowering women by training them to drive motorcycles, giving them access to an anti-harassment application, and helping them counter patriarchal norms.

While talking to media, Sufi also spoke of his plans to take the campaign to Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana. The project aspires to work toward the freedom and inclusion in both the social and economic sphere.

A similar campaign had been launched in 2016 with the help of Punjab government’s Strategic Reforms Unit. The programme trained 5000 women in five districts of Punjab, while it provided subsidised motorcycles to 700 women.

The event on Sunday will be inaugurated by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Pakistan Peoples Party’s Aseefa Bhutto Zardari. The United Nations Women, as well as United Nations Development Programme, are supporting the programme.  

Following WoW’s inauguration, training would be imparted to women in a vacant ground in the University of Karachi.

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The programme’s expansion to Karachi would also allow women to access job opportunities in reputed organisations and enable them to be financially independent.

Moreover, Salman Sufi has revealed that he desired to train 10,000 women across Sindh through the programme before International Women’s Day next year, which is observed on March 8.

The programme will allow women to not only reclaim public spaces but would also allow them to become independent when it comes to their mobility and finances. An increase in women’s mobility, financial independence and their reclamation of public spaces would help them to challenge the restrictive environment that harms them.

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