Women have been fighting for equality for ages and the whole new-age feminists movements are about that. How can women be equal? How can certain things which have been instilled in our society for so long will end and the list goes on. Some people say that these movements are just for the riches. NO, that is not for the riches alone. We have Zahida Kazmi, the first Pakistani female driver whose courage and resilience teach us that any women at any level can feel empowered. It all needs a step towards it and you will get what you want.
Hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 62 year old Zahida like all the other women was not allowed to move freely. According to her women get killed if they step out of their homes. Zahida initially started driving a yellow cab after her husband passed away and she was left with extreme poverty. Her life became tougher for her so she started driving a taxi.
Unfeared and unapologetic
Kazmi at first began driving a yellow taxi from Rawalpindi to Islamabad air terminal consistently to get travelers and passengers. She used to keep a gun with her for her own safety and wore a Burqa to keep away from any kind of harassment. However, Zahida disposed of these assurances, and become feisty and streetwise. According to her, she doesn’t want to scare off her passengers or gave off any negative vibe through her attire and her appearance. So she started wearing dupatta around her head.
Zahida Kazmi – Roshni ka Minar
In her locality, she is known as “Roshni ka Minar” (Ray or Beacon of Hope). After her husband passed away, with poverty she had her kids. However, with time her sons estranged her and she is all alone with her teenage daughter now.
When a woman turns into a widow, she feels as though the defensive shroud from her head has been taken off and the situation with being powerless has been pushed onto her. Widows are generally confronted with two decisions: isolation or reliance. Zahida broke those two barriers and made herself shine through all those cultural boundaries. She faced immense monetary pressures and that turned into her motivation to become the first woman to drive a taxi across Pakistan.
Zahida Kazmi is definitely a motivation for all those women who think their lives have ended with losing their loved ones. She is a Beacon of Hope for everyone!