Friday, 25 September, 2020
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OPINION

Women On Wheels



Renuka Dhakal

There are still a huge number of people who think that driving is the job of the man. But nowadays many Nepali women are using scooters and cars by challenging the social stereotype of male dominance in this sector. Women are more engaged in work than ever before. They are taking up important positions in big associations and companies. Let’s be proud with the examples of our current president, Bidya Devi Bhandari and the former Chief Justice Shusila Karki.
They are just the example of how women are progressing to hold prominent positions. If we look at the international level Finland has constituted a new cabinet led by 34 years old Sana Martin recently. These are just a few examples of women who are active in all fields and it is a matter of pride for all of us that women are also contributing to the development of the society. And driving is also an area where women are more active and independent role.
Rajani Pun, 30, a service holder in a private company shared how driving has made her independent. She has been riding scooter for more than 5 years now and she is planning to learn to drive a car. Nita Nepal, 26, who works at an insurance company has recently taken a car driving license. She is very happy to hold a four-wheeler license that made her confident and independent in her daily mobility for business.
There are many women who are confidently riding more than scooters. We can see women tempo, taxi and bus drivers. This is a leap forward towards empowerment. As a result, they don't have to rely on men for a lift and earning an income.
Nepal does not have a long history of women venturing into driving, but in a short time, many of them have been driving two wheelers to four wheelers. Laxmi Sharma is the first woman tempo driver in Nepal and she has been successfully plying tempo on the streets of Kathmandu. Likewise, Harmita Shrestha is a Sajha Yatayat bus driver. She has been driving a big passenger vehicle on the road of Kathmandu with a sense of pride. On the streets of Kathmandu, today we see many public and private women drivers like Laxmi and Hermita. This gives encouragement to the whole lot of women who want to venture out of their homes and take part in business, services and leadership roles.
I have been riding a scooter for the past 6 years and am now learning to drive a car. Learning to drive is a matter of pride in itself, and more so for a woman. This skill enables me to go out and do things independently. During a health emergency of a family member or a neighbout, I will not have to call a taxi or an ambulance to get to the nearest medical facility. It is gives me a sense of self-reliance and independence.  

How do you feel after reading this news?