Islamabad: The National Highways and Motorway Police (NH&MP) will actively promote a decent environment in public transport particularly for women passengers and will impart sensitization training to drivers, conductors and transport union in this regard. For this purpose, with the support of International Labour Organization (ILO), around 60 officers of the NH&MP attended “Training of Trainers” to further impart training to public transport-operators on “Decent Public Transport for Working Women”.
The training course comprised of training techniques, national law against harassment in public places, relevant ILO standards, significance of women’s productive mobility, and their key problems and guidance to create a decent environment in public transport. Apart from formal training for transport-operators, informative material was also developed to be displayed in public transport for education of passengers & drivers about legal, social and religious implications of harassment and inappropriate attitude with women.
A certificate distribution ceremony among successful officers who completed “Training of Trainers” was held in Islamabad which was chaired by the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and attended by the Inspector General Police, Mr Wajid Ali Khan Durrani, ILO Officer-in-Charge in Pakistan, Ms Margaret Reade Rounds and number of dignitaries.
Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan congratulated NH&MP and ILO for a joint collaboration and appreciated ILO’s technical support, and also highlighted the government’s effort to empower women She mentioned that their Shaheed Leader, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was a proponent of women’s emancipation in Pakistan and has taken a number of initiatives. The present Government is also following her footsteps and has enacted a number of legislations and policies to enhance women’s participation in economic and political arenas. She said that very recently, a women bus service has been started in her constituency, Sialkot, to support working women. She also appreciated role of media in regularly reporting women’s mobility issues and encouraged them to continue this trend until the problem is resolved on sustainable basis.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Margaret Reade Rounds, Officer-in-Charge ILO, congratulated the successful officers on completing their training and expressed her hope that a positive change would be there once training program for transport-operators is rolled out. She mentioned that women’s empowerment and non-discrimination at workplace is at the core of ILO’s Decent Work Agenda and ILO will support any such intervention which brings about women’s emancipation in economic sector.
The Inspector General of NH&MP, Mr Wajid Ali Khan Durrani also congratulated the officers for completing their training and appreciated support provided by ILO in this regard. He assured that the NH&MP is going into non-conventional areas of public support and there will be a positive change in overall environment on roads very soon.
Earlier, Mr Saad Gilani, Project Manager ILO, briefed the gathering about the background and details of interventions carried out to make the existing public transport acceptable for working women under the One-UN Project.
The event was part of ILO’s One-UN Project “Towards Gender Parity in Pakistan (TGP)” where a research on women’s mobility was commissioned and as a result, stakeholders were identified for affirmative action. Subsequently, a ‘behaviour change campaign’ was piloted on one route of public transport between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. After successful implementation of pilot project and its positive results, the ILO collaborated with NH&MP for a national level replication of this methodology.
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Dr Muhammad Saifullah Chaudhry, Senior Programme Officer
Tel.: +92 51 2276456-8, Ext 235