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Pakistan launches Pink Bus Service for women - report

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 6 Jan 2012 11:05 GMT
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NEW DELHI, Jan 6 (TrustLaw) - A bus company in Pakistan has launched the country's first ever female-only bus service to help women feel safer and curb incidents of sexual abuse and harassment, the Express Tribune newspaper reports.

Activists say women, even in urban areas, often face sexual and verbal harassment on streets and public transport, making their families overly protective and leading to restrictions on their freedom and ability to work.

The buses, which are painted pink and have women conductors and male drivers, began services on Thursday along three main routes in Lahore, Pakistan's second biggest city, according to the report.

"The buses are an effort to offer women harassment-free travel," said Muhammad Dastgir Baloch, chief operating officer of the First Bus Service, which together with local government initiated the Pink Bus Service pilot project.

The report said there were only three pink buses available, but government officials said the number could be increased and the service extended to more routes if it proved successful.

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