Zahida is considered the first female taxi driver in Pakistan. She was born in Pakistan, is a single mother, independent worker and fighter. During her childhood, she and her family moved to India where her father owned a successful transportation business. Later, when India and Pakistan separated, the family came back but they were not able to take with them the business that support them, a few months after they returned, her father passed away and very difficult times came for Zahida, her mother and her three sisters.
In 1972, Zahida was barely around the age of 20 when she was a widow for the first time and had to start working to support her 7 children – 5 daughters and 2 sons – She worked as a domestic worker, as a worker in a clothing factory and also as an employee of the government for 9 years until she was fired, at the end of the decade of the 80’s.
With no more opportunities to be hired again, Zahida decided to be a taxi driver, her second husband was who taught her how to drive. At the beginning of the decade of the 90’s, the government program “Yellow Taxis Scheme” was developed, by means of which, low-income people could acquire their own car, Zahida took that opportunity and through financing, she began to pay a car.
Zahida has also been President of the Federation of Yellow Taxis, has given driving lessons to other women in her community and today she is still actively working and owns her own taxi.
Al Jazeera (July 2018) Zahida: On the Road with Pakistan’s First Female Taxi Driver. Al Jazeera, Witness Episodes. Available online
Fawad Ali (Abril 2015) Pakistan’s first female taxi driver: Power steering. The Express Tribune, Magazine. Available online
Anwer Sumra (2011) Cabs with no destination. The Express Tribune, Blogs. Available online
BBC News (2011) Zahida Kazmi: Pakistan’s ground-breaking female cabbie, BBC News, Available online