Empowering Female Drivers as LOWAN Fosters Solidarity and Support in Nigeria’s Commercial Transport Industry

Author: No Comments Share:

In the bustling streets of Nigeria’s cities, a silent revolution is taking place as more and more women take the wheel in the traditionally male-dominated commercial transport sector. Behind this groundbreaking shift stands the Ladies of Wheels Association of Nigeria (LOWAN), a close-knit community founded by Nkechi Abiola, providing not only a supportive network but also essential financial assistance and empowerment opportunities for female drivers across the country.

LOWAN, described by its founder Abiola as a close-knit group, embodies solidarity and mutual support among its members. From looking out for each other on the roads to exchanging trade advice and secondary business opportunities, the association fosters a sense of camaraderie essential for navigating the challenges of the industry. With over 5,000 members ranging from 25 to 60 years old, LOWAN has rapidly grown since its inception six years ago, mirroring the increasing presence of women in Nigeria’s commercial transport sector.

The surge in female participation in commercial driving roles can be attributed to Nigeria’s worsening economic conditions, pushing women to seek alternative sources of income to support their families. However, this transition hasn’t been without obstacles. Sociocultural norms still prevalent in Nigeria often result in discrimination against female drivers, with some passengers refusing rides based solely on gender stereotypes about driving abilities.

To address the specific needs and challenges faced by female drivers, LOWAN emerged as a women-only association, providing a safe space for its members to share experiences and offer support without fear of intimidation. Sexual harassment, assault, extortion, and discrimination are unfortunate realities for many female drivers, but through LOWAN, these women find strength and resilience in unity.

Founder Nkechi Abiola’s personal journey exemplifies the transformative power of LOWAN. Following the end of her marriage, Abiola turned to driving as a means of supporting her five daughters financially. Recognizing the need for solidarity among female drivers, she established LOWAN, envisioning a community where women could thrive and support each other in a male-dominated industry.

Beyond emotional support, LOWAN plays a crucial role in empowering its members financially. Through facilitated loans and a savings scheme, the association assists women in owning their own vehicles and provides a safety net for emergencies and crises. However, while LOWAN’s efforts are commendable, many members express a desire for greater governmental support to address the systemic challenges they face.

Previous Article

African Development Bank Set to Equip Civil Society with Climate Funding Skills

Next Article

Paris Energy Summit Aims to Curb Millions of Premature Deaths in Africa with Clean Cooking Solutions

You may also like