In Ghor, Afghanistan, more and more women have decided to get behind the wheel – a trend not welcomed by all in the traditional province.
Angela Sharifi started learning to drive a year ago. She says she is quite good now and has much more clutch control.
“It is much easier than you think it is in the beginning,” she says with a smile. In other countries, a woman sitting behind the wheel of a gray Toyota Corolla might not be an unusual sight. But in Afghanistan, Angela is a rarity.
“You see the men standing around on the streets, staring with open mouths. They are so surprised all they can do is stand there and watch,” she says. “They look as though they’ve seen a ghost. Some men even say it is a sign the end of times are coming,” she says laughing.
Chaghcharan, the capital of the Ghor province, is not a very developed town. It is very traditional and it has less than two kilometers (1.2 miles) of paved streets. The country has a total of about 12,350 kilometers of paved roads. There are no street signs along the way.
Sayed Mohammad Hasin Khan, head of Ghor’s driver and vehicle licensing agency, says that two more kilometers of road are going to be paved by autumn. In addition to that, signs will also be put up.
Hasin Khan believes the region will eventually have a developed infrastructure for cars. Traffic laws will then be learned and tested in a theoretical and practical examination.
“The driver license test will be the same for men and women – they will be treated equally,” he emphasizes.
“After a long time, Afghan women are developing a new identity. The last decade has brought positive developments that have brought advantages to society in general and to women, even in our province.”
He says an increasing number of female students have licenses and even their own cars.
Opponents and advocates of the phenomenon do agree on one thing: women driving cars in Ghor – whether they are seen as bad omens or as revolutionaries – will continue to be an oddity for a while yet.
Dieser Artikel erschien ursprünglich hier: DW.de