Girls in major cities around Pakistan – Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad – observed the third annual girls on bikes rally. Each year, this rally is organized by Girls at Dhabas.
— disco spider (@Rameezay) March 30, 2018
The idea behind organizing such a rally was to reclaim public spaces, which for many years have been dominated by men
Many were right in pointing out that there is nothing wrong with the idea of women reclaiming public spaces
Public spaces are not confined to one particular gender. It is the right of both genders to be able to get out their homes and walk around safely in public spaces. Female mobility in Pakistan is still being worked upon, which is what prompts rallies like girls on bikes and the aurat march.
#GirlsOnBikes Nothing weird about it. If guys can do it, girls can do it too.
— Dr Danish Ebad (@MrDanny3) April 1, 2018
There were many who were confused what it all was and were questioning the motives behind the rally
What's going on people, what's the main agenda behind #GirlsOnBikes in an Islamic country? Can anyone explain?
— Dignitary Dani (@dignitarydani) April 1, 2018
This new trend #girlsonbikes is smh. Our generation is becoming so busy trying to prove that Women can do everything a man can do that Women are losing their uniqueness. Women weren't created to do everything a man can do. Women were created to do everything a man can not do.
— Momina Khan (@Mominaaa123) April 1, 2018
So everyone who was wondering what happened at this empowering AF rally, here are some of the people who participated in the rally
— Sehar Tariq (@sehartariq) April 1, 2018
The sisterhood is definitely going strong
I went to the #GirlsOnBikes rally today organised by @girlsatdhabas. Words cannot begin to explain how I feel. All I will say is that the sisterhood is strong and may we prosper! ? pic.twitter.com/4m25jyWRkY
— disco spider (@Rameezay) April 1, 2018
Aurat ka pahiya chalnay do!
3rd Annual Girls on Bikes Rally organized by @girlsatdhabas and Girls on Bikes – Lahore to reclaim public spaces for women! What a wonderful event! And what an amazing turnout!
Aurat ka pahiya chalney do!#cycling #cyclist #womenempowerment #womenpower #girlpower #GirlsOnBikes pic.twitter.com/G4d2gqgOuK
— The Mad Hatters (@TheMadHattersPK) April 1, 2018
It is amazing to see how mothers brought their young daughters along and used this as a teachable moment to raise strong women
It is important for children to realize these narratives from an early age and understand the need to be a part of such campaigns.
The most exciting part of the bike ride was to see young girls with their mothers who were trying to catch up, as they zoomed past on their bikes with little baskets with flowers in them. Owning and reclaiming their streets. ????❤️✊?#GirlsonBikes #GirlsatDhabas pic.twitter.com/Y65ax4y9Ue
— Leena (@Leena_Ghani) April 1, 2018
The public was very supportive of this cause wherever the rally went
The ladies had only a few trashy experiences, otherwise, many joined in and encouraged women to take such measures. It makes you realize how the public is also very much supportive of the change that women want to bring.
Spent an hour cycling on the busiest roads of Lahore in an attempt to reclaim public space with my fellow feminists. Apart from a few trashy men, we received unprecedented support from the public and honestly it was one of the most liberating experiences ever. #girlsonbikes
— I Dare Say (@muneezus) April 1, 2018
HOWEVER, there is always trash on the roads. Men catcalled, made videos, took pictures. Oh and my favorite, they ‘pretended’ they would ram their cars and motorbikes into us to scare us and then laugh. Real classy.
— disco spider (@Rameezay) April 1, 2018
Here are some of the classy placards which women carried along the rally
Cycle chalao, patriarchy dhabao!
#GirlsOnBikes rally taking place in Islamabad, Pakistan. Participants want to reclaim public spaces for themselves.
1st sign reads:
“Ride your bike and put pressure on patriarchy.”
2nd sign reads:
“Our roads, our city.” pic.twitter.com/7jTaAUYDnL
— Zubeda Mir (@ZubedaMir) April 1, 2018
Icon and badass singer, Meesha Shafi, also participated in the rally to encourage the women
#girlsonbikes !!! ??♀️??♀️??♀️??♀️??♀️??♀️??♀️??♀️……. #AnnualBikeRally @girlsatdhabas thanks for being such warriors! ✌?Pleasure riding with you all! #ReclaimPublicSpaces #LHR pic.twitter.com/I0ZjmNuKlZ
— Meesha Shafi (@itsmeeshashafi) April 1, 2018
The turnout was great in each city and the Girls on Bikes rally was able to send the message it had intended
What an exhilarating day. Great turnout at the #GirlsonBikes rally in Lahore. So many women in cars waved at us & made thumbs up signs. Women got us, whether or not they rode along. #behenchara #GirlsatDhabas pic.twitter.com/trxnv5nF8F
— Sabahat Zakariya (@sabizak) April 1, 2018
— Girls at Dhabas (@girlsatdhabas) April 2, 2018
Don’t forget to appreciate the effort of these women. To be able to come together and join forces for a cause is extremely important. And rallies, such as these, provide the perfect opportunity to do so.