Driving one’s way to Development

One of the things quite a few of my colleagues know about me is that when I joined GlobalGiving, I didn’t really know how to drive. Okay, in complete honesty, I could drive but I just couldn’t reverse. So when I finally learned to drive properly and reverse, it was truly a moment to celebrate!I always have managed to live without a car for the most part and frankly I thought I would never learn or need to learn. However, after I learned to drive, it gave me a new sense of freedom and mobility. This feeling was one that I have always taken for granted. Sadly, in some parts of the world women are not being allowed to drive, such as places like Saudi Arabia. In fact, I was in Riyadh when women took the roads to protest the refusal to let them drive. There is another movement again that has started to continue that 1990 protest to let women drive and we’re all hoping that happens. As one woman puts it in this interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor:

“I don’t even like driving,” says Ms. Aishah el-Mane, who received death threats and was forced to leave her home and job in Riyadh. “Even if I could drive now, I wouldn’t; I much prefer to have a driver. It’s about female empowerment and mobility. Women need incomes, they need jobs, and they need a way to get to those jobs,” she says.

International Women’s Day in on Saturday, March 8 and I wonder which project I should support in honor of International Women’s day. This year I think I will go with Livelihood for 500 Tribal Women in Gujarat that teaches women how to drive so that they can sell their crafts in markets. It is a pretty cool project and by teaching just one woman to drive, this enables her to teach another 500 women to drive.



about 13 years ago

How about cycling one's way to development? Interesting article pointed to by the Freakonomics blog: http://chrisblattman.blogspot.com/2008/03/other-resource-curse-oil-and-womens.html Female emancipation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle#Female_emancipation And, finally, a shameless plug: http://googlemapsbikethere.org/ :)

driving courses

about 13 years ago

Hi Saima I look forward to the time when there are women competing - and winning - in Formula 1 motor racing. It might sound odd but it will achieve a number of things: educate men to women's capabilities to drive as well, and better, than some/many men it will convince women around the world that they have just as much ability and right to drive as men. Safe journeys...

Comments Closed