Women drivers take to the roads

From Global development | The Guardian Wed Nov 14 2012, 07:00:01

By putting women in the driving seat, an all-female driving school hopes to cut accidents on Bangladesh's male-dominated roads

Kobita Rani grew up in a family of rickshaw drivers. Even as a young girl, she dreamed of following her father and brothers into the business. The vehicles fascinated her, but she was always told by teachers and her friends that, as a girl in Bangladesh, becoming a rickshaw puller was not a prospect.

"All I have ever been told is that I must get married and have children ... the only person who said I could be whatever I wanted to be was my father," she says. "Now, I am showing them all they were wrong."

Rani is one of the first graduates of Bangladesh's new all-female driving school. Based in the middle of traffic-clogged Dhaka, the course is run by Bangladeshi NGO Brac, which opened the driving school as part of its push to improve the country's appalling road safety record.

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