see CNN clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmuLA-78Foc
The report as usual emphasizes the fact that Iran forbids any physical contact between opposite genders in public. However I would like to point out empowering women does not happen without jobs. This will be a thriving market for hundreds of women and will help them to have their own voice, their own income and their cherished independence.
Have you heard of female cab drivers in Saudi where government's official policy is much harsher than Iran in such matters? I have not. I also never heard of female cab drivers in any other Middle Eastern Arab countries, where traditions do not appreciate women working outside their homes.
The question is if this is a step forward. I believe it is. Although one wonders that rationing gas might not allow this service to grow as fast as it should otherwise. Any observer of Iran’s affairs wonders the irony of such policies and projects. After revolution Islamizing school system & colleges persuaded many traditional families to send their daughters to colleges and to let them live in other cities. Iran today has the largest female college student population in the region whose share of total population is more than 50%. These students became the women who demand equal rights and equal opportunities today.
May be a western observer finds female cab driver for female passenger not that interesting. It is interesting and interestingly productive. What would happen if women could have representatives in ministry of transportation or cab drivers’ unions? What would happen if women could have more jobs and show the traditionalists that they are better drivers and better mechanics than men? Think of it, and please tell me if you still think it is a bad idea.
Another link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR2cF5RsC38&mode=related&search=