Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Saturday said roads would be safer gradually with the increased presence of female drivers.
‘I believe that the probability of road accidents will reduce as many as female drivers will be recruited,’ he said at a certificate giving ceremony.
BRAC organised the ceremony, titled ‘Women behind the wheel for road safety’ at BRAC Centre Inn in the capital to handover certificates among 11 women who got professional driving training from the organisation.
The programme’s chief guest Obaidul Quader said that women drivers drive vehicles with cool head and they do not take risks.
‘If female drivers would not get jobs after completing training their dedication to work would reduce,’ he said about recruiting women drivers in Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation.
He said that the corporation was going through many difficulties. ‘I often felt ashamed as I talked for bringing back order on roads but still there is no order,’ he said.
BRAC community empowerment, integrated development and gender justice and diversity director Anna Minj said that a recent BRAC research found that around 94 per cent of women were sexually harassed at least for once during walking on roads and using public transports.
Safety of women is not discussed in the overall road safety issues, obstructing the overall economic development of the country for lack of women’s mobility, she alleged, adding that the number of female drivers on roads should be increased to ensure safe road for women.
Women and children affairs ministry secretary Kazi Roushan Akhter said that they had taken initiative to install CCTV cameras inside buses to check sexual harassment.
BRAC executive director Asif Saleh urged the government along with private organisations to ensure recruitment in 10 per cent quota for women drivers in offices.
While presenting a paper, BRAC administration and road safety programme director Ahmed Najmul Hussain said that under the Four Wheels to Freedom training programme, they had provided three-month residential training to 214 professional women drivers at its driving schools in eight batches since 2011.
Dipa Chakma, a driver who got certificate on the day, requested the minister for ensuring toilet facilities for them and preventing sexual harassment on roads.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority chairman Kamrul Ahsan, columnist Syed Abul Maksud and representatives of different non-government organisations and transport associations attended the ceremony.
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