The pay is good, but the conditions are awful. Kenyan women overcoming obstacles to their success as transportation workers? Awesome.
How do you get around in Nairobi? By matatu, of course!
Being a matatu driver or a conductor pays better than a lot of jobs available to women, so naturally, women want those jobs. Except the transportation work force is over 90% male, and the women face the kind of #MeToo problems that are all too familiar around the world. They’re bullied. They’re harassed. They’re subjected to violence.
Now a Kenyan women-led organization helps these female workers rise to the challenges they face through their Women In Transportation program. FloNe Initiative, founded in 2013, helps women in transportation build sustainable careers by offering workshops that teach the practical skills needed in the business of transportation, such as financial management, plus the violence-deflecting skills that keep them safe in the workplace.
Most importantly, as the women study together, they share their own best practices and develop solutions as a group. They learn to work as a community. Hundreds of women have already been through the program, and this Awesome Without Borders grant will make it possible for dozens more women to participate. The hope is that with the organizing skills the women develop, that they’ll be able to effectively demand change on their own behalf.