Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today said that the number of road accidents would reduce once a greater number of female drivers hit the roads.
“Women drive vehicles abiding by rules and with cool heads. They are not substance abusers. They do not talk on mobile phone while driving. So, as more women are appointed as professional drivers, the lesser the risks of road accidents,” said Quader.
Quader, also the general secretary of ruling Awami League, was addressing a programme to hand over certificates to women who successfully completed a course at BRAC Driving Training School in Dhaka city, according to a press release.
Quader said they want other institutions to come forwards to help women gain self-dependence.
The aim of these initiatives will go in vain if women fail to get jobs after successfully completing such long courses, he said.
“Both the government and private sectors have to clear the way to recruit women drivers. The government will consider this issue with more importance from now on,” he added.
Kazi Rowshan Akhter, secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, said a BRAC study shows that 94 percent of female public transport users face one or other kind of harassment.
“Women drivers in our country also deal with many kinds of challenges. We have to join hands in finding the roots of those challenges as well as the solutions,” she said.
This programme titled “Women behind the wheel for road safety” was organised for the 8th batch of learners, in which 11 women enrolled—all of them passed and received driving licences. The 3-month training was conducted at the BRAC Learning Centre at Uttara in the capital.
BRAC’s initiative to train women as professional drivers to promote both road safety and women-friendly commuting system has drawn praise at home and abroad.
The ceremony began with one-minute silence paying tribute to the memory of BRAC’s founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed.
BRAC started its driver training school in 2011 mainly to train people from disadvantaged families and produce skilled professional vehicle drivers and so far, trained 7,388 individuals in basic driving, among which 1,973 are women. The institute also trained 10,373 people in professional driving of which 214 are women. A total of 599 women received training in motorbike riding.