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    Dec 2009

    Default Pakistan gets its first woman cabbie

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    It hasn't been a smooth drive for Pakistan's first woman cabbie, but Zahida Kazmi is happy to have made a dent in a male-dominated profession. Kazmi took up taxi driving following her husband's death in 1992, when she had to take on the responsibility of single-handedly raising six children.

    Kazmi, who was then 33 years old, persevered despite many problems, and has since made her mark on the butter-smooth roads of the federal capital and in the hilly terrains of northern Pakistan in two decades of driving her cab.

    Her decision to start driving a cab did not go down well with her conservative and patriarchal family. She took advantage of a government scheme under which anybody could buy a brand new taxi in affordable installments.

    She bought herself a yellow cab and drove to Islamabad airport every morning to pick up passengers.

    Kazmi has come a long way since. She has traded her 'hijab' for a 'chador' and does not carry a gun for protection anymore. "I realised that I would scare passengers away. So then I only wore a hijab (head covering). Eventually I stopped covering my head because I got older and was well established by then," Kazmi told BBC.
    ...being a human...



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