Bosaso’s only female taxi driver
“When people call for a taxi and they see it’s me at the wheel, they often say they will not get into a car driven by a woman,” says Sacdia Ali Farah, the only female taxi driver in the port city of Bosaso in north-eastern Somalia.
She has been registered with the Dhaweeye company,transport company for seven years and says prejudice from the public does not hinder her desire to work because she is a talented driver with years of experience.
“I get very depressed when people refuse to accept me as their driver,” says Sacdia, “but I try to be patient.”
“I tell them I am responsible and experienced and that a woman is perfectly capable of driving a car. When I manage to convince the customers to change their minds I feel I have won a small battle for women’s rights by proving to them that this job does not belong exclusively to men.”
Sacdia is breaking the mould for women in a society where working in public transport is seen as an exclusively male domain. In some parts of Somalia it is even unusual to see women driving private cars. Step by step she is helping to reduce discrimination.
She earns between $15 and $20 for a nine-hour working day. Part of the money she makes goes towards repaying the loan she took out to buy her car. “I help support my family of six in this way, paying for our daily needs, healthcare and education.”
“The money my husband earns runs out by the 15th of every month. Thanks to my taxi driving we can live quite a comfortable life.”
Sacdia wants to encourage more women to become drivers, especially those who are unemployed and cannot support their families.