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Bonn from a woman’s perspective

FES fellow Beenish Javed


I stepped out of the train at Bonn in Germany and a young woman, Manasi, was there to receive me. I was wondering if her car was big enough to carry my luggage, but she said that she had come on a bicycle. That was my first culture shock; a woman came on a bicycle all by herself to receive me at the train station. However, we took a cab and she dropped me at a hotel nearby.

It’s been two days since I have reached Bonn for a training program at DW. In this time, I have interacted with more women than men. Our coordinator at DW, who is responsible to help us settle, is also a young woman, Jessica. Jessica was kind enough to take us to our apartment. The apartment relocation services people were already there waiting for us and guess what the team members were all women.

In the markets, buses and trains I see a lot of women too. Even at DW, there are many women employees. I feel that women are an integral part of German society. German culture and society helps women to become active citizens. I am excited to be here the best part is that I feel safe living here, riding a bus, walking on a street and going out for shopping for groceries. I wonder, if the same comfort, facilities and strict laws were in place in Pakistan for women, would more women come out and work despite it being a traditional society?

Author: Beenish Javed

Editor: Manasi Gopalakrishnan

Beenish Javed is a reporter working for ARY News, Islamabad. She has been awarded a two-month long fellowship by the Friedrich Ebert foundation (FES) in Germany and is currently in DW, Bonn. You can follow Beenish on Twitter @Beenishjaved. You can also also see her work at


13.08.2013 | 12:40