Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, is known as the most crowded city. This city has around 12 million people in its 1,529 sq km land area. Each and every place is filled with people. It seems that there is no empty place in this city. Public transportation is not any different. Public buses in Dhaka city are insufficient in numbers in comparison to the increasing population. As a result, it creates more demand for public transportations. It is difficult for people to travel from one place to another within Dhaka city using any public transport. The problem is intensified during rush hours. However, men somehow manage to get on the bus. But when it comes to women, it simply gets so tough for them to get on a public transport as everyone rushes towards the bus at the same time.
It is mentionable that there are not enough reserved seats for women in the buses. For this reason, many bus conductors do not allow any female passengers to ride on their buses simply by saying ‘no empty seats for women’. If it is so, how these women will reach their destinations? They do not have any wings to fly to their destination. They are also human beings. The sufferings of women do not end here. If they somehow manage to get on a bus, they sometimes face a bizarre situation. It is often observed that many reserved seats for women are mostly occupied by men. And when any female commuter gets on the bus, male commuter does not even care to leave the seat for her. If the female commuter even gathers courage to ask that person to leave the seat, she is often abused by men commuter. In most of the instances other passengers do not even support a good cause and never ask the occupier to vacate the reserved seat. Consequently sometimes female commuters have to experience some awkward situations in the public transports.
However there was a time when men used to leave their seats for any woman passengers. But gone are those days. Today men passengers even justify themselves by putting the blame on women in general and they sometimes go on to assert that if women are advocating for equal rights in the society, then why will there be any reserved seat in the buses? Thus, it has been difficult for women to travel in public transports. Nusrat Jahan, a banker, said in this regard, “It becomes very tough for me to travel in bus during the office hours as so many people wait for public transports but the number of buses remains very scarce. So, now-a-days I am going to the office by CNG, which is a bit costly for me but I do not have any other option.” Like Nusrat there are many other women who are suffering from the same problem.
Moreover even if someone gets on a bus, she faces different types of embarrassing situation. Pinching, pushing and inappropriate touching are some common experiences that a woman has to go through while commuting within the city. To solve this problem government has provided some buses only for women. But the problem is that the number of such buses is very less. On top of that, these buses are not available after morning. Hence, this makes no difference.
Now the question is - will this problem ever be solved? Will women’s battle on the roads ever come to an end? To resolve this problem government should take some feasible steps. Recently, a law has been made to secure women’s seats in the bus. If a man occupies any seats reserved for women, then he has to pay 5,000 as a fine or he will be put in jail for one month or both. Government must ensure that this law is implemented properly so that nobody can make a fun out of it. In the meantime out mindset should be changed as well. Men should learn to show respect to the women irrespective of any situation. The situation and the plight of female commuters will not end unless their male counterparts empathize with them.