Breaking the mould


Women are no more confined to household chores. They go out, work hard, achieve their dreams, and earn big bucks. Indian Air Force inducted its first batch of women fighter pilots last year. Women on the ground too are making outstanding headways. But many people still carry the perception that women should confine themselves to a handful of professions. We claim to be the part of a women-empowered society, but continue to believe that there are many jobs that women cannot do. Though some badass women have dared to defy and break the pre-set paths and succeed in their chosen careers, women continue to face several difficulties. Or, blatant stereotyping is still rampant.

That said, here is the happy news – More and more women are now making their way into the traditionally male-dominated workplaces and striving to set newer heights of achievements. The change is highly heartening. They are beating the odds and succeeding in unconventional careers, thus break the mold. One among them is cab driving.

shanno begum

Women are bad drivers; we still hear that often, don’t we? Before jumping into conclusions, read the story of Shanno Begum, the first female Uber driver in Delhi. She has proved that it only takes hard work, passion, and determination to debunk the myth of ‘women specific jobs’. Though she did several odd jobs like cooking and selling vegetables to earn her bread and butter, it was driving that came to her rescue. The job involves several safety issues, but hasn’t stopped women like Shanno Begum from taking it up.

More and more women like her are now deciding to get behind the wheel, driving proudly, proficiently, and cautiously that most of the men drivers out there. They continually prove the patriarchs and trolls wrong, earn numerous accolades, win hearts, and give strength and courage to many others who are dreaming of embarking on similar jobs. Women-only cabs run in most of the major cities in our country. With such secure ferrying services, women are more self-reliant and no more fear lurid harassments from male drivers. It’s a win-win situation.

Would you be surprised find a female driver in your train? Not anymore! But it was beyond imagination in 1998 when Surekha Yadav became the first female driver. She was the first to drive the ‘Ladies Special’ train from Central Railways to CST. Come March 2011 and she drove the Deccan Queen from Pune to CST despite topographic difficulties.

It’s no longer rare to find women bouncers in night clubs. More women are now frequenting nightclubs and letting their hair down. Given high probability of sexual harassments, depending on a man for safety during wee hours is almost a no-brainer. This is the key reason behind the increasing demand for female bouncers. They are strong-willed, do their jobs with panache, and inspire many others too to follow their dreams and walk paths that are less taken.

When compared to men, women are more patient, understanding, and good at making futuristic decisions. Her mental strength is ineffable and her positive spirit is infectious and inspirational. Be it household financial matters or sensitive relationships, women are excellent managers and handle things with ease and perfection. But eyebrows are raised when they step out of homes and take up jobs that were once considered as the divine birthright of men.

From becoming gas station attendants to serving customers at bars, women are excelling in every filed imaginable. They are doing a lot to overcome the barriers and break the proverbial glass ceilings, but the struggle continues. They still face an uphill battle to prove themselves. The path is fraught with many difficulties.

With an ocean of possibilities out there, let hope that more women will identify the plethora of unexplored professions, and prove their worth, thus bridging the gender gap. If she can give birth to her child, handle all household matters, and take care of her family alongside her work, there is nothing that a woman cannot do.

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