Breaking stereotypes: a female automobile mechanic

Poverty could not stop her from becoming an expert automobile mechanic, in a society where women are stereotyped in every aspect of life.

After learning to drive and vehicle repairing from a non-government organisation (NGO), Rabeya Sultana Rabbi started her career as a driver, before switching to motor bike and car repairing and has been working at CARE Bangladesh for last 12 years.  

“In 2005, I couldn’t sit for my SSC exams. My father, who is vegetable salesman, couldn’t afford my exam fees. It was hard for him to bear the expenses for an eight-member family, so I had to drop my studies,” Rabeya said.  

“My husband never opposed about my job, rather he encouraged me to work in the men’s world as a driver and a mechanic,” she said.

However, the local women of Tangail objected to her work because of her work uniform, but that never stopped Rabbi from doing her job.

“There used to be a crowd watching me repair vehicles, because of which our office gave us a closed garage so that I won’t have to work in an open space,” Rabeya also said.

Since 2009, Rabeya has been working at CARE’s main workshop, and she is admired by her male colleagues and employer.