ABSTRACT

Previous chapters have largely studied twin cities through the lenses of urban history and human geography, focusing on relations between twins and of twins with broader entities like conurbations, and state and national governments. This chapter combines social anthropology with development studies, and by dint of extensive interviewing, explores the experience of individuals and groups, more particularly those of women travelling within and across Islamabad and Rawalpindi in Pakistan. As the authors note, twin cities, because of their proximity and, here, their contrasting urban design and character, provide ideal venues wherein to explore this, within the context of enduringly traditional male attitudes. As expected, Islamabad, the planned and ‘modern’ capital city, offers multiple opportunities for women, especially in government and generally ‘more acceptance for women in public space, work and transport’. However, Islamabad’s layout importantly hampers realising those opportunities in travel terms, while unplanned Rawalpindi offers the liberating opportunity of crowds. However, travel within and between the twins provides multiple opportunities for expanding horizons and expectations.