IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

‘Taxi Sisters’ to hit the streets in Senegal

Female cab drivers dubbed "Taxi Sisters" will take to the streets of Senegal's sprawling capital Dakar for the first time this month in a move the government hopes will boost gender equality in the mostly Muslim nation.
/ Source: Reuters

Female cab drivers dubbed "Taxi Sisters" will take to the streets of Senegal's sprawling capital Dakar for the first time this month in a move the government hopes will boost gender equality in the mostly Muslim nation.

"This is a new way of tackling the gender issue. What a man can do a woman can also do," Aida Mbodj, minister in charge of women, family and social development in the former French colony, told Reuters.

The female cab drivers will take the wheel behind bright-yellow Chinese-made vehicles with "Taxi Sisters" written in black letters on the bonnet.

Progressive stance towards women
Senegal is one of West Africa's more progressive states in terms of gender equality, albeit coming from a low base. Forced marriages and female genital mutilation are slowly dying out and the country has even boasted a female prime minister.

Passengers hope the "Taxi Sisters" will have better road sense than their male counterparts, who often mount pavements or drive the wrong way down streets as they compete with mopeds, horse-drawn carts, goats and pedestrians for space.

"I think the Taxi Sisters will bring a soft female touch and discipline to the roads and I hope the male taxi drivers will change their driving behavior," said banker Alimatou Diop.

Those who do not may face the wrath of the government's other new gender initiative: motorcycle traffic policewomen.