FirstDibs by Amor Maclang • Published 28 April 2019
“Babae Kasi!” You hear this expression every now and then, usually from male drivers as they go through Manila’s ever horrible traffic. In fact, we all have that one friend who utters those very same words whenever he sees a lady driver cutting in front of a car or committing a traffic violation. It’s representative of the stigma that many women drivers face, not just here in the Philippines, but around the world.
Just last March, the country celebrated National Women’s Month. It is part of a global celebration that pays tribute to the women of the world. Although, the world has gone a long way in giving women their due credit in the world; sadly, the reverence to women hardly extends to driving.
Now, March being a month for women, Pilipinas Shell did their part in honoring women by raising awareness of the stigma that women encounter all across the land. This, plus the pressing need to make the roads in our country safer and more comfortable, not just for women drivers but for all drivers in the country.
Partnering with organizations such as A-1 Driving School, the global energy leader launched several initiatives to shift the conversation from “male vs. female” drivers, to “educated vs. uneducated” drivers.
Among these initiatives over the month of March were the “Women Drive the Future” event featuring female driving influencers from all walks of life; a women’s luncheon involving female leaders across industries such as banking, technology, real estate and energy to drive discourse on challenges being faced by women; and finally the launching of a video to raise awareness of the “Babae Kasi” issue across the digital sphere.
This is only the beginning as Pilipinas Shell looks to continue raising awareness on the stigma against women drivers throughout the year and ultimately shift the conversation from “Babae kasi, kaya bad driver” to “Kasi babae, which is why she can do all these amazing things on the road.”
Watch the inspiring “Kasi Babae” video here: