- Title: Female-only driving school aims to challenge gender stereotypes
- Date: 25th January 2017
- Summary: CAIRO, EGYPT (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CARS ON ROAD
- Embargoed: 8th February 2017 11:25
- Keywords: Driving school Egypt Cairo female-only driving school women-only driving school driving instructor car maintenance women gender
- Location: CAIRO, EGYPT
- City: CAIRO, EGYPT
- Country: Egypt
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00160KTMQD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Driving on Cairo's busy and gridlocked streets can be a challenging task, and many women may feel discouraged from learning to drive in the Egyptian capital.
But a female-only driving school is hoping to encourage more women to get behind the wheel -- and even under the car bonnet.
At Nairouz Talaat's driving school, Direxiona (meaning steering wheel in Arabic), all the driving instructors are women and lessons are offered to women only.
The school also provides lessons in car maintenance - from how to check water levels and change oil to road safety and changing a tyre.
One of the school's students, Noura Fahmy, said she was more comfortable learning to drive with a female instructor.
"I tried to learn several times with other instructors, but they were all men, and I felt that they did not have the patience to teach me, so it put me under pressure. I felt as if I was being judged, it was more of an emotional thing, I just wasn't very comfortable," she said.
Talaat aims to turn her students into confident and safe drivers, while also reassuring their families that they are in safe hands.
"The project helps women lose their fear when driving and boost their confidence, and also rid their families of their fears of sending their daughters to driving school. I want families to stop being afraid, and for women to be reassured so long as they've learnt the proper fundamentals, by professionals," she said.
Direxiona also offers a range of car maintenance lessons, using both male and female teachers.
Talaat believes that confident drivers should also learn about car upkeep, road safety and how to deal with breakdowns and emergencies.
"If a woman is faced with a problem she is afraid, why? Because nobody took the time to make her aware of what she should do, and of specific checks on the car that must be done before starting a journey, such as checking the water and oil levels. They need to be taught how they'll react should they face a problem while on the road, instead," she said.
Students can book lessons online through Direxiona's Facebook page, which Talaat hopes will encourage even more women to take up driving and empower them to learn new skills.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None