Woman Pioneer in Heavy Vehicle Transport

Woman Pioneer in  Heavy Vehicle Transport Woman Pioneer in  Heavy Vehicle Transport

Talented and ambitious Iranian women have proved competent in various social, economic, and political areas. They have made inroads in the business field and many are entrepreneurs today, providing employment to men, further enjoining their equal halves to be involved in the national development process.

Zohreh Erfanian is one such successful woman. She is a theology undergraduate and has two daughters; one is a holder of Ph.D. in biomechanics, and the other a civil engineering graduate, ISNA reported.

“I decided to get a driving license about 10 years ago for a heavy vehicle after a joke with my husband as he insisted that women cannot get special licenses easily; but I could and I did,” Erfanian proudly explains on how her two-year career started.

She does not own a bus at the moment and works in shifts with other drivers, enjoying the job as well as people’s reaction of amazement. She drives on the routes connecting northern Iran to Isfahan, and Langeroud to Tehran, to be able to visit her husband and daughters who live in Isfahan Province.

“I chose to be the driver’s assistant since once a woman screamed ‘she will kill us all’ seeing me behind the wheel,” said Erfanian, adding that any mechanical problems that arise are quickly addressed, as there is always an experienced driver onboard.

  Family Cooperation

Owing her success to the tireless cooperation of her spouse and children, she said: “Although it was surprising at first for officials to see a woman applying for a special driving license, the culture of women drivers appears to be spreading across the country,” she said.

She, however, added there are still “people out there who have a hard time accepting a female bus driver.”  On her experiences, she said she once got into an accident with “a sedan driver who was heckling me and cut in front of me to prove a point; I used the emergency brake but could not manage to stop in time”.

Driving a bus is a bittersweet experience for Erfanian as it has its own challenges. There are no resting rooms for female drivers at terminals. In addition, drivers are required to pay a comparatively high amount of 1,100,000 rials ($33) per month for social security insurance, as driving is not categorized as hard labor (which requires a lower insurance fee). However, “driving lengthy stretches causes space between the vertebrae in the spinal column, and is considered hard labor all over the world.”