In the footsepts of Ms. Zahida Kazmi; Pakistan’s first female taxi driver

Fateema Barcha

Miss Zahida Kazmi, the 53 years old woman from Islamabad who is driving her taxi which she bought in 1992 when there was a government scheme through which one could buy a taxi on easy installment, presents a good example of empowered women. Her example can be followed by many, including the government, which claims to be in favor of economic empowerment of women. The underprivileged women in Pakistan could benefit a lot of if the government starts a loan scheme for women who are willing to purchase taxis and provide transportation services to the people.

Ideally, such a scheme should also include training on self-defense, to cope with the harsh mundane realities of the society, including sexual harassment.

It would be a great idea for the security of women who travel almost every day to their   workplaces or educational institutions keeping in view the current security issues of country where women do not feel secure to travel.

This idea can contribute in many ways for social development, for example by creating a new image of Pakistan and show the rest of the world that perception of a typical Pakistani housewife and dependent woman is now going to be changed. Also, it can create an opportunity for increment in women workforce as according to UN just 15 percent Pakistan’s workforce comprises of women.

Women should feel confident about this occupation and they must be inspired by Miss Zahida Kazmi’s example that came out and fought the war of survival for herself and her children. I have read somewhere that she used to keep a gun in her car and cover herself from head to toe to avoid unwanted attention.

Women have to be ready to face social challenges to make brighter future for their upcoming generations and this will be a practical step towards fulfilling slogan of women rights. This idea can take a practical shape through cooperation between government, social organizations, family support and, most importantly, with the courage of women.

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