BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Date of Submission



Rahma Muhammad Mian, Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences


Dr. Nausheen H. Anwar, Professor, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


Usage of Motorbike Ride Hailing Applications by women and queer individuals, is slowly becoming more prevalent in Karachi, Pakistan. Mobility discourses in the Global South are often conducted by research institutions in the Global North that use quantitative data to produce an image of a homogenized ‘Third World’ woman. By analyzing women’s and queer individual’s access to an unconventional mode of transport and the network of women and individuals who have begun using this unconventional mode, this thesis has aimed to highlight a subculture of virtual communities of upper to middle class feminists and queer activists resisting the hegemonic heteropatriarchy enacted in Pakistan. These virtual spaces facilitate further discourse and activism that led to an emerging network of women and femme-presenting people beginning to use motorbike ride hailing applications. This research has involved 10 in-depth interviews and a survey with 49 participants to determine factors that women and queer bodies are forced to negotiate. In a Karachi-specific context, these women and queer people experience body policing and cultural stigmas surrounding safety narratives and respectability politics. Ultimately, this thesis is an in-depth account of individuals practicing their agency and mobility through motorbike ride hailing applications, and their negotiations with the riders, and their sociocultural barriers. In the process, the city’s inherent exclusions are exposed through corporate exploitation, safety narratives, and state infrastructure for both the rider and the queer/female passenger.


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