OTB FOUNDATION WAS AMONG THE FIRST TO BELIEVE IN PINK SHUTTLE, A UNIQUE AND INNOVATIVE SERVICE TO SUPPORT WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN KABUL
The project, designed by Nove Onlus, consists of a free transport service for women: women driving shuttles that only carry women. Drivers are selected, trained and authorized by their families and the senior citizens’ council to be part of the project. A tutor supports them in the integration phase and the achievement of a driving diploma. Passengers are selected through agreements with the organizations in which they work or study, transfer times and precise routes are defined. The goal is to convert the service from an activity run by a non-profit organization to a real commercial service, managed directly by Afghan women.
The initiative aims to solve one of the greatest obstacles to the emancipation of women in Afghanistan: free mobility. In this country, women have great limits, they cannot ride a bike or a motorcycle, they cannot share a means of transportation with a man; the only socially acceptable solution is that they share it with other women.
Pink Shuttle allows women to reach places of work and study independently. It is an innovation and as such requires much caution in a country at war for 40 years, where dangers are many, especially for women engaged in non-traditional activities.
The Covid-19 epidemic and the drastic worsening of safety conditions exposed drivers and passengers to many risks, with a consequent reduction in the operation of the service. Nove Onlus then developed a strategy to use the Pink Shuttle anyway, offering another type of support to the Afghan female population. In April and May 2020, minivans provided food aid to over 4,800 people in Kabul. At the request of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICR) and the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of Afghanistan (WBFA), from March 2021 one of the vans of the Pink Shuttle is dedicated to the free transport of the athletes of the basketball team in wheelchairs.
When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was declared in September 2021, the Pink Shuttle was temporarily suspended.