MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Interest among women about learning professional car driving has increased in northern Balkh province, a female instructor says.
Lailuma Ihsan, 45, who heads a women driving centre, said she established the centre three years back after consultations with a number of women.
She said initially women showed little interest in learning car driving, but currently dozens of young women were busy learning professional driving at her facility.
Lailuma, who is a teacher at the Teacher Training Centre, has been privately running her driving centre’s administrative affairs.
She said so far around 500 women in Balkh had received driving certificates from her centre in the past three years.
She added: “It fortunate that families now accept women should have their contribution in the communities, there are many families who want their females to learn professionally driving.”
“It makes me really happy when I see a woman who is trained at our centre driving car on the road.”
Marina Mohammadi, a woman who has received professional car driving training, said she liked driving from childhood.
Sitting at her car’s steering, she said the driving training centre was a huge chance for women who wanted to learn car driving. She said it was more facilitating for her that she learned the driving from female instructors.
“Now I can drive and resolve my problems myself. Driving is a serious need and priority for both men and women.”
Meanwhile, women’s rights activists welcomed the increasing participation of women in the society as beneficial and important.
Dr.Tahira Alami, women’s rights activist, told Pajhwok that women’s increasing interest in learning driving showed ‘a big change’ in the conservative society.
She said driving was not something specific to men, but women also could become professional drivers. “Harassment is a huge issue, and it should be countered at the earliest possible”, she said.
Provincial traffic department confirmed women also drove vehicles in the city besides men.
For two consecutive weeks, Pajhwok tried to obtain data from the provincial Traffic Department about how many women received licenses last year, but failed.