In the Pakistani metropolis of Karachi, the country’s first all-women buses are to roll through the streets in the future. “We start with ten vehicles that drive through the busiest corners of Karachi, a metropolis with more than 20 million inhabitants,” said Fida Hussain Baladi, spokesman for the local traffic authority, the German Press Agency on Friday.

In the future, however, the number of pink-painted buses should increase and then cover almost the entire city. “The idea behind it is to provide women and girls with safe transportation to go to offices, schools or universities,” Baladi said. In addition to the passengers, the bus staff will also be female – with the exception of the bus driver.

Public transport harassment is a widespread problem in the traditional South Asian country. In metro lines in larger cities, there have therefore been women’s compartments for a long time, but these are also often used by men.

According to information from the Ministry of Transport, the pink buses will start on February 1st. Politicians and celebrities welcomed the project. The Pakistani actress Iffat Omar, for example, spoke of a “great contribution to the empowerment of women”. A student from Karachi told the German Press Agency: “Thousands of women have to finish their studies or give up their jobs at the request of their conservative families because there is no safe means of transport.” The introduction of the women’s buses is therefore an “encouraging step”.