Pakistan’s female drivers gain confidence & visibility

Global Business

A new wave of female drivers in Pakistan is pushing the boundaries set for them by men in the socially conservative country.

From heavy trucks to scooters and rickshaw taxis, women are experiencing more independence thanks to a set of wheels.

CCTV’s Paul Barber reports.

Pakistan's female drivers gain confidence & visibility

A new wave of female drivers in Pakistan is pushing the boundaries set for them by men in the socially conservative country. From heavy trucks to scooters and rickshaw taxis, women are experiencing more independence thanks to a set of wheels. CCTV's Paul Barber reports.

Colorfully-decorated trucks are a fixture on Pakistan’s highways. But this one has an unusual sight in the cab.

53 year-old Shamim Akhter is believed to be one of the country’s only female heavy truck drivers. Abandoned by her husband after the birth of their fifth child, she struggled in odd jobs for years. Despite learning to drive a car, and opening a driving school, she found it hard to pay the bills, so she took a job transporting bricks.

Other women are pushing social boundaries even further.

The International Labor Organisation said three quarters of women in Pakistan don’t work because they lack safe transportation. But with taboo-breaking schemes like this, more Pakistani women are finding the confidence to hit the open road.