Image credits: Press Statement of Swedish Embassy in Pakistan.

RAWALPINDI: Citizens of the Rawalpindi have been caught by surprise when they saw a white woman driving a Rickshaw in the streets of their city. Seeing a white woman is a rare occurrence let alone seeing a white woman driving a rickshaw. The woman is known as Miss. Ingrid Johansson, who is also currently serving as the Ambassador of Sweden to Pakistan. 

One would argue, why such a high-profile individual would ride a rickshaw, which is particularly a ride designed for the country’s poor and lower-middle class. It turns out that the ambassador is working her way to support the local women in Pakistan, as the society of Pakistan is leaned towards more “men” dominated, the opportunities for women are less. 

In the press statement, the Ambassador describes her move as a part of her “Feminist foreign policy in Pakistan”. 

She can be seen in a Facebook post by Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs at: https://www.facebook.com/SweMFA/posts/1382254395301038

The ambassador has also supported “Women on Wheels” which is a similar movement that helps women in Pakistan to earn a living by riding a bicycle or a rickshaw, both can serve as Taxis in Pakistan. Seeing the rise of women in this field, popular delivery, and tech startups like FoodPanda, Careem, and Uber, all have started employing women in their pool of drivers. 

Ambassador also describes it took her almost 2 years for her to acquire a rickshaw driving license, as there were many hurdles along the way; one of which being a woman. This speaks a lot about how much women empowerment is needed in Pakistan, and this step is a way forward for women who cannot leave their homes to earn a living where men can do so. 

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