Our Women with Wheels project empowers poor women to become professional drivers to enable them get well-paying and respectful jobs and reclaim freedom. It helps these women get employed as cab drivers and chauffeurs for women, making transportation in Indian cities safer for women. Once earning, women drivers are able to double even triple their family income. The project does not only help lift many people out of poverty, it also empowers women to transform their lives in numerous ways.
Women we work with come from very poor families surviving on just US$1.5-3.5 a day. Only 27% of women in India participated in the formal labour market in 2015. If employed, it is under unequal terms and in low paid professions traditionally assigned to women. Violence against women in widespread - many women get physically and mentally abused by their husbands, in-laws and even their fathers and brothers. They are denied rights, often unable to make decisions about their own lives.
The project empowers poor women to get well-paid respectful jobs as professional drivers in the booming public transportation industry. The project trains women in driving, as well as English, communication skills, financial literacy, self-defence and human rights. Qualified women chauffeurs are placed in jobs with the help of a partner organisation, Sakha. They are able to double even triple their family income as drivers, and also transform into confident fearless women.
As professional drivers, women helped by this project are able to increase their family income by 200%, lifting them out of poverty. Moreover, they become more confident, start to take control over their own lives and make informed choices. Women drivers inspire other women to take on non-traditional professions and become autonomous and economically independent. The social change this project leads to reaches out to women drivers' children - creating long-reaching intergenerational impact.