Female Drivers Association of Nigeria, FEDAN, in a zoom meeting with the Federal Ministry of Transportation on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
The body led by the President, Ambassador Eunice Odeghe listed their challenges to include non-acceptance during government recruitment exercises, lack of funds to purchase vehicles, lack of insurance for members, lack of office space for proper coordination and support towards a sensitization program on the need for digitalization coming up in July 2020.
Ambassador Odeghe who decried the level of discrimination on women in the driving profession noted that female drivers were not in the business to compete with the male counterparts but to compliment them and contribute positively to the economy.
“Recognising us in the area of recruitment as women have been a challenge, we are not trying to compete with men but we are trying to make a living. Also, funding for commercial drivers has not been easy as purchasing vehicles has been a challenge, especially for those that have taken driving as a profession.
“We need office space for our members in state offices, where they can have their meetings, we still need partners to train our women in the area of capacity building because we can’t do without training as women. We need to be retrained to key into Government policies.
“We need policy guidelines from the Ministry which could help our commercial drivers get insurance, and we are looking to see how the Minister’s office can assist to promote the Association. Driving is seen as a male job, so, we want the Government to support us to make our voices heard” she said.
Contributions from members who came from Benin were Deborah Aigbovorhiuwah reported cases of intimidation from male counterparts and reluctance of passengers to opt for female-driven rides. Maureen from Lagos branch who supported her claim, called for the government to help end the discrimination, especially for drivers using apps as passengers cancel their trips when given female drivers.
The SA Policy to the Minister of State, Titilope Ani who represented the ministry, assured the Female drivers that their request would be looked into as she will relay the information from the meeting to her boss. She urged the Association to have a database of all its members for proper coordination and encouraged them to stay strong in spite of the numerous challenges.
Nkechi Anyagwa of FEDAN member from Lagos, gave the vote of thanks and appreciated the Ministry for the audience and prayed that there will be many more such interactions.
FEDAN is a non-governmental and not for profit, that is passionate about promoting human capacity development and skills rejuvenation among the women and youth, and also trains women to be self-employed through driving.