When was the last time your taxi driver was a lady? I must say, I rarely commute by cabs but I haven’t come across a female driver until recently! As I got into the cab with my friend, I was pleasantly surprised to see a lady at the helm of the steering wheel. Excitement ran through my head like a little girl getting her first ever toy doll because I hadn’t encountered a female driver in eons!
Throughout the short 20-minute journey in the taxi, a mirage of thoughts sped by in my head. “When was the last time I saw a female taxi driver? Why haven’t I seen any around? Why did she choose to be a taxi driver?” All these questions popped up in my head, but I lacked the courage. Each time I tried to articulate my thoughts, a spring pulled my tongue right back snugly into my mouth. I never got my questions answered.
After that ride I kept thinking about the profile of taxi drivers in Singapore. Is there a social stigma that taxi drivers are only men? And so I did some research and I found out that as of January 2014, there are slightly more than 3000 female taxi drivers in Singapore! Despite this being a seemingly substantial amount, it makes up a mere 3% of the total number of taxi drivers in Singapore. According to a report, the top reason that ladies shun this job is personal safety issues. To tackle this, several support groups and programmes have been implemented to cater to this growing minority.
Support groups for female taxi drivers are in talks to gather this community, as well as garner ideas on how to sustain this profession for ladies. Meanwhile, activities such as social activities such as health talks and screenings are in place to ensure that these drivers are well-accounted for.