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Bangladeshi Women Take Up Four Wheels to Freedom

Half the Sky Movement

Afsana is a female professional driver in Bangladesh trained by BRAC as part of its "Women Steering Forward" program. Despite opposition from family members, Afsana's husband supported her career path. "For me, it [is] like going out for battle in the street every morning, fighting this patriarchal monopoly," says Afsana, who faces verbal abuse but remains undeterred. "I like the fact that things are changing and the next batch of drivers who are women can work freely in this society."

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  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I love that this woman is a pioneer. So cool that she's taking the reigns, and that there's a program to support her efforts! I wonder how BRAC teaches leadership and other valuable skills?

    • Mahera

      In 1994, I recruited the first female driver Saleha Begum in my office at UNICEF Dhaka Division. Saleha first joined in Gonoshastha Kendra a NGO in Bangladesh. She use to drive heavy vehicle. Saleha is still with UNICEF Bangladesh. There are now quite a few female drivers in UN agencies and Bi-lateral agencies in Bangladesh.

      • Alessandra Rizzotti

        Mahera, thanks for sharing. It's really great you came onto the site to share your work. Would love to know more about how you work with these women. When they are at UNICEF, do they end up taking on leadership roles?