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Women at the wheel

  • Published at 12:25 pm April 17th, 2021
female biker

The rise of female motorists in Dhaka

Motorbikes as the choice of transport have increased drastically in modern-day Dhaka. The day-to-day commutes are challenging for an average city dweller. People have to constantly rely on ride-sharing services and public transportation. More and more people are recently encouraged to get their own motorcycle and ride to their destination by themselves. Women in particular, are also more driven to use their own motor vehicle to communicate. This is a new chapter where women are breaking barriers.

Bangladesh is already one of the most exciting emerging markets for motorcycle sellers. Sales and usage of the motorcycle have significantly increased over the past few years. But now, more and more women are also encouraged to be a part of this market. A gender barrier is always hard to break, but the women in this country are taking the lead. From going to offices to attending their classes, we see more and more women on two-wheelers every day. And it is not only the scooter. The more aggressive sports bikes are also being used by some of them. In a densely populated city like Dhaka, a two-wheeler can solve a lot of day-to-day problems. Having your own transport means you can save your transportation cost and save a lot of time too. This advantage has been put to use by the country's young workforce for quite a while, but the women had initially somewhat reluctant to use a two-wheeler, primarily because of stereotypes. 

Women are more anxious about using their own transportation because of the different day-to-day trouble a vehicle owner faces on the street. But it's more than that. The social barrier has been the main reason women have been more unwilling. For long, the people in this country have not viewed women as equal to men when it comes to riding their own vehicle; there is even a term called "lady biker," which is used disparagingly. A biker, in general, is a biker which is a gender-neutral term; when you add the word "lady" in front of it, it instead creates a disparity among the two genders. We have to start normalizing the fact that gender will not be a factor in distinguishing riders.

At the same time, the big motorbiking industries of the country have a big responsibility. They have to provide guidelines and encourage the women to be more active participants in this regard. The companies should also ask the questions like what are minor preferences the women might have regarding what they want in their two-wheeler. Bangladesh is an emerging market for the motorbiking industry. Suppose the women are also willing to own their own two-wheelers. In that case, it will create a substantial economic boost to the country's economy. It will open the doors to an entirely new group of customers. Despite the challenges and difficulties, the women in the country are running towards the change.