This photograph, taken in Lahore probably in the 1960s, brings to light many Pakistani realities; some of which have changed, and some not.
Showing an elderly woman hauling a cycle rickshaw, boarded by a family of four, the photograph can be seen as the inhuman plight of an old women left to fend for herself. At the same time, it can speak for struggle of working women who can take to occupations generally associated with masculine strength, when the need arises, rather than being confined to domestic spaces to suffer in misery or beg on the streets.
The photograph also presents a forgotten image of Pakistani society, when it was not altogether uncommon for even working class women to ride or drive on the road. Contrary to the present, when its almost a taboo for women to ride a bicycle or motorcycle, a working class vehicle, forcing them to ride behind their men, this photograph clearly refutes the impression that our society in the past was less susceptible to gender equality. It makes one wonder how we came to lock ourselves in patriarchal prison, pushing half of our population off the public sphere.