The ‘Pink Shuttle’ is the first and only service in Afghanistan driven uniquely by female drivers for female passengers.
donated by OTB
female population is illiterate
got their driving licenses over the last three years
Nove Onlus is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 by international cooperation. It focuses primarily on humanitarian assistance, education and socioeconomic development, supporting vulnerable people, especially women, children and the disabled. Nove Onlus is presently working in Italy and Afghanistan and has implemented small projects in Syria (orphan emergency in eastern Aleppo), Greece (migrant emergency) and Ethiopia (support to youth from the lepers’ ghetto in Addis Ababa).
Nove Onlus’ Pink Shuttle aims at contributing to the solution of one of the major obstacles to women’s emancipation and empowerment in Afghanistan: free mobility. Through this service, Afghan women will be able to access basic rights, such as to study and to work. In Afghanistan, it is socially acceptable for women to drive other women, but any innovation for and with women demands caution. In order to reduce potential risks to the women, Nove Onlus provides the newly-trained drivers with an experienced tutor for their first driving experience, and also acquires the preliminary permission by the Institutions, the traditional authorities, the families and the broader community. Apart from covering the initial costs (i.e., fuel, insurance, driver salaries), through its job & business advisory service Nove Onlus sets up, together with its stakeholders, a sustainable management plan, aimed at developing this shuttle service and helping it gain independence over the next two years.
The Pink Shuttle is a unique and innovative service for the women of Kabul. Only The Brave Foundation has been the first to believe in it, despite Nove Onlus had been thinking about a project of this kind since a while, considering that it would be the perfect professional outlet for some of the 195 women who were given a driving license between 2012 and 2018 through Nove’s Female Professional Training Center’s free of charge driving school. Thanks to OTB Foundation, Nove Onlus and Afghan women’s dream will come true.
The overall expected number of direct beneficiaries is 102 women: 2 drivers and 100 regular users benefiting from the ‘Pink Shuttle’ service. The indirect beneficiaries are about 600 members of the direct beneficiaries’ families (considering the average Afghan family size composed by 7 members). The image of Afghan women running for the first time a shuttle service or driving a car acts as a catalyst, prompting many more to follow the example. The sense of empowerment that such initiatives spread across the Afghan traditional society represents a crack in the wall of subjugation that surrounds the vast majority of the female population.
Afghanistan is “still the worst place in the world to be a woman” (TIME, Dec. 2017) – 83% of the female population is illiterate (UNESCO, 2017) and less than 16% constitute the labor force. In Afghanistan, one of the major obstacles to women’s emancipation presents itself in their difficult and restricted mobility, which greatly impairs their access to basic rights, such as to study and to work. Public transportation is almost non-existent. Walking along the streets exposes women to all sort of risks, including harassment. The majority of the women are forbidden to cycle or drive motorcycles, to take taxis or buses driven by men. They are also prevented from getting a driving license, due to the high course fees and to the restriction on attending gender-mixed classes.