Published: 22nd August 2019
All for gender equality: In a first, Kerala women to now drive government vehicles alongside men
Women would be appointed as drivers as part of the government's decision to ensure gender equality in all walks of society
In a first, the state government of Kerala has decided to appoint women as drivers in government departments and public sector undertakings, a post so far reserved for men. The decision was taken in the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday.
"The decision was taken as part of government's position on ensuring gender equality in all walks of society." said a statement. Existing laws will be amended to make women eligible for the post of drivers. "The cabinet has decided to induct women as drivers in government services and public-sector units. For this, the existing recruitment rules will be amended," an official release said.
Women have been largely excluded from most of the driver's vacancies except in KSRTC where a woman was appointed in 2013. KSRTC officers said that there was no discrimination in women joining as drivers. “Women generally do not come forward to become drivers in KSRTC.” said an officer. Women, however, drive private buses, online taxis, and auto-rickshaws.
Allowing women as drivers in government service is the latest of women-friendly measures undertaken by the LDF government. Women friendly labour policies, opening gender parks, short-stay homes, etc.
The government had recently formed the first women battalion with over 550 members as part of efforts to enhance the representation of women in the police force.