Women Traveller, Pakistan
Segregation of the sexes is much more prominent in Pakistan than in neighboring India. If you're coming straight over the Wagha border, you may find the gender separation a relief after battling unruly mixed crowds in any major Indian city. In Pakistan, you can expect ladies only seats on the bus and ladies lines at ticket counters. This is especially helpful as people usually push and shove while trying to get the counter. The ladies may be more vicious than the men sometimes, especially when it comes to buffet dinners, but generally standing with ladies is more comfortable. At some places, like the post office, the majority of the customers are men. This is great for women, as we can walk right up to the front of the ladies line while twenty men are standing in the queue.
On public buses, ladies should always get seats in the front near the driver. Most restaurants, excluding high end ones, will have a separate "family section" for women and children. You may find this family section to be slightly dingier and filled with screaming babies, but ultimately its better than being ogled at while the surrounding men drool over scantily clad Bollywood superstars. In the Northern Areas or NWFP, the "family section" may in actuality be a room in a hotel. You may languish in a cramped dank room while the men get to sit outside overlooking a waterfall. Being a lady brings many advantages in Pakistan, but it also has its disadvantages.
Read more tips here:
Tips for Women Travelers in Pakistan
Women are respected & cherished in Pakistan. They have a pleasure to walk to the head of the queue, or to be given the only seat which rarely happens in Europe but a woman's life is far more restricted in Pakistan that we are used to here in the west & a lack of theirrights in such cases as rape & divorce which horrify many of us.
As female trveller's Islam usually works in their favour -male travellers will carry your bags & offer cups of tea at the shops. But you need to remember that a Pakistani woman rarely travels alone. Indeed, many never even leave the house unless accompanied by a family member, friend or servant. I, therefore advise foreign women tourists not to travel alone not because it is dangerous , but because it can uposet or even offend a good muslim male to see a woman immodest as to travel unaccompanied. But to tell you the truth in big cities things are changed people are not restricted to their traditional way of living & travelling anymore....
As a woman travelling alone in Pakistan I almost never had any problems. In the busses the conductors always tried to place me next to other women. I had the feeling, that most of the Pakistani men turned to be my brothers and fathers, when they heard, that I was without a husband. So they did their best to make my travel safe.
On the other hand there was that shopkeeper, who just didnot speak to me any longer, when I told him, that I am travelling alone.
Of course I always wear proper clothing, when I am travelling in such countries: wide trousers, long sleeves and always a scarf or hat. I had even a local dress of wide and long trousers and a dress to wear over the trousers. To find this kind of local dress is not so easy for me as I am quite big compared with Pakistany women. It was different in the Hunza Valley, as the women there do not hide their faces.