Lady Cab Drivers Take Self-Defense to Prepare for Work

Illustration for article titled Lady Cab Drivers Take Self-Defense to Prepare for Work

Cabs for women aren't a new thing in the world, and they're not a new thing in India, either. However, Delhi's Cabs for Women by Women is notable because after the violent gang rape and heartbreaking death of the young student in the Indian capital, their business spiked by 40 percent. Consequently, the small team of eight drivers — all committed to supporting the city's women, and keeping them safe — is looking to hopefully hire more drivers soon.


It's wonderful to see a women-owned and operated company thriving, but the reason this particular company is needed is the result of awful events. Appropriately, the women cab drivers are all fully trained in self-defense and first-aid because, well, they have a job that can be dangerous.

According to the BBC, one driver was attacked by a male cabbie while at a gas station, and another was assaulted by a couple when she wouldn't make way for their car. Frightening stuff.

On top of the obvious dangers, there's also the issues of isolation. Like any job, not having a community of co-workers can chip away at a person. "When I park somewhere, there are always men there and inevitably five or six of them get together and hang out," says Shanti Sharma, a 31-year-old cab driver. "I'm usually the only woman in the parking lot, so I just stay inside the car… even one more woman driver would have been nice, to hang out with."

Yeah, and it'd be really nice if she could hang out with the guys, too. Seeing as they're all human. Of course, befriending women in a similar situation is critical, but being excluded from most social situations you encounter can be pretty fucking depressing. That, on top of the real possibility of assault, and stress of being yelled at because "shitty women drivers are shitty", makes this one tough job for some very brave women.




I'm so sick of the "women are terrible drivers" stereotype. Where did that even come from? Statistically speaking, aren't men more likely to be cited for reckless driving, DUI, safety violations, failure to stop/yield, and to be involved in a fatal crash?

When I was house hunting, the smarmy realtor for one of the neighborhoods I was looking at smugly told me that they had to switch from divided garage doors (where each car has its own separate door, with a divider down the middle) because the women in the neighborhood were complaining about how difficult it made parking. My mom was with me, because we were looking at the house I eventually wound up buying, and she just calmly looked the realtor in the eye and said, "That is some sexist bullshit right there."