Cartier Philanthropy - Taxis for women, driven by women

Taxis for women, driven by women

Completed

Azad Foundation’s “Women With Wheels” programme trains vulnerable women from deprived backgrounds for employment as professional drivers. The training not only teaches essential driving skills, but legal rights, self-defence, the English language, personal presentation, hygiene and financial literacy. Between 2017 and 2020, we supported Azad to reach out to over 11,300 women across 225 slums of Jaipur. 259 vulnerable women were enrolled into the programme and 200 successfully graduated, with 90% of them obtaining their driving licence at first attempt.

Duration
2017-2020
Focus area
Women’s Social and Economic Development
country
India
partner
Azad Foundation

Results achieved

Azad Foundation challenges cultural and socioeconomic barriers in India, aiming to engage marginalised women in non-traditional jobs so they can become economically independent and gain control over their lives.

Azad’s “Women With Wheels” programme trains vulnerable women from deprived backgrounds for employment as professional drivers. The training not only teaches essential driving skills, but legal rights, self-defence, the English language, personal presentation, hygiene and financial literacy. The majority of women who complete the programme have the opportunity to become the principle breadwinners in their families.

Between 2017 and 2020, we supported Azad to reach out and enrol 259 vulnerable women living in the poorest areas of Jaipur.

A combination of community mobilization activities was implemented across 225 slums to identify women eligible for the training and engage communities on gender issues at a larger scale. 11,346 resource-poor women were directly exposed to these outreach gatherings.

Over 200 of the 259 women enrolled in the training programme graduated, with 90% of them obtaining their driving licence at first attempt. However, only 58 women successfully entered the labour market as cab drivers or chauffeurs for women, hired by independent companies or by Sakha Consulting Wings, a social enterprise that facilitates the employment opportunities of these trained drivers.

It appears that the persistence of India’s traditional gender norms is at the root of this low employment rate, with women - especially women from resource-poor communities - only getting societal approval to do certain jobs.

The best part of being a trained driver is being seen as being equal to a man. Driving is seen as a man’s job and women are not trusted to do it. But my friends know about it and agree that it is a very brave thing for a girl to do. We change tyres in the middle of the road, like men do, and we don’t care who is looking at us.

Saroj, Sakha driver trained by Azad Foundation