Women and Buses in Uganda is a subject stereotypically inclined. The bus industry in the world has drastically evolved and consequently embodying women with roles that were only in the patriarchal chamber. However, is this change visible in our Bus industry practically stretching to the management of our Bus companies or driving of Buses?
The tragedy of female players in the Ugandan Bus industry has been nuanced by their relegation to being ticket brokers, Bus office receptionists while the crème jobs are a preserve for men and this is because our society has cemented values and ideologies within us that are hard to shake and in the end it has created an unfavorable environment for women to thrive in the Bus industry.
Unfortunately, It is empirically evidential that in order to have a thriving Uganda bus industry, we ought to pursue diversity. We cannot feign ignorance to the fact that women encompass half of Uganda’s population (50.2%) according to the World Bank. Apparently, the most sought after skills entail creativity, professionalism, adaptability with adversity being the qualifier of those skills.
A dearth of drivers of drivers with the above skills has dramatically slowed growth of our industry. Training and getting more women on board thus plays a key role in the bus industry like bridging the gap of unprofessional Bus drivers consequently resulting in good road safety and fostering a harassment free environment. Equally employment opportunities are also generated for daughters and sisters to join an industry dominated by men.
Different research projects and statistics have proven that women Bus drivers are more risk averse and determined drivers. For example, in 2006, the Uganda Bus Industry witnessed Alice Nyambura who is considered to be Uganda’s first female Bus driver. Her legacy still stands tall, she was adored and praised by her passengers and her bosses at GAAGA Bus Company.
As the industry grows, urgency is needed to offset the barriers and challenges that hinder women from playing a key role in our industry. An unfettered fight against sexual harassment must be at the Centre stage.
Therefore seeking and providing more opportunities for women in our industry will surely benefit Uganda, the bus industry, the economy and our community as well.
The writer is a travel critique and a freelance writer with Ugabus.com