This is what we call gearing up for change. The Kerala government has decided to appoint women drivers in government departments and public sector undertakings.
Though women are at the wheel of private buses, auto-rickshaws, ambulances in the state, the government posts were, for decades, reserved for men.
The decision was taken by the state cabinet headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday to “ensure gender equality in all walks of society.”
“We have found that there is no need to reserve the post of drivers in government departments and public sector enterprises to men. The department has carried out a study and has found that the jobs need not be reserved for men and that women can handle this job with ease,” Minister for Social Justice Women and Child Development K K Shylaja was quoted by The Hindu.
The decision will result in more employment opportunities for women and further help change the perception of society towards women and their empowerment, she added.
The move is expected to take another two to three months for the implementation. After amending the rules, Public service Commission will be informed and then recruitment will take place, News18 reported
Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said the decision marks the fall of another “male bastion.”
Kerala government decides to recruit women to driver posts in different departments. Rules will by appropriately amended. Another male bastion falls.
— Thomas Isaac (@drthomasisaac) August 21, 2019
In The Driver’s Seat
How many women have you seen at the driving seat of taxis or buses?
According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways statistics, only one percent of all female-held driving licenses are commercial (MoRTH, 2018). However, various states have launched initiatives to end the monopoly of men in this area.
According to Quartz, Maharashtra has reserved driving permits for woman taxi drivers and lowered the price to half of the usual Rs 3 lakh fee. In November 2013, Kerala’s Social Justice Department launched She-Taxi, a 24-hour women-only taxi service. She-Auto service launched in states like Kerala and Andhra Pradesh have also been a huge hit
There has been an increase in the number of women working in the delivery industry since 2018, as per estimates cited in a report by India Today. The number of women working in the delivery sector, which employs around 10 lakh people, has risen to 67,900 this year, compared to 40,000 in 2018.