Only female bus driver in Turkey's Edirne goes viral after Ivanka Trump tweets her story

Published 24.08.2017 01:11
Updated 25.08.2017 17:50
emDHA Photo/em
DHA Photo

Pelin Aslantaş, the only female bus driver in the northwestern Edirne province of Turkey, has become internet famous after Ivanka Trump shared her inspiring story on her official Twitter account on Tuesday.

"Check out Pelin's story as the first female bus driver in Edirne, Turkey from @UN Women 'From where I stand' series," the U.S. president's daughter tweeted, attaching the article Aslantaş, 44, wrote for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women's, also known as U.N. Women, website.

After Ivanka's tweet, 44-year-old Aslantaş said she was grateful for her support and her work for women's empowerment, and said she would love to meet her.

"I would like her to take a ride on my bus," she said, inviting her to visit Edirne.

"I am the only woman bus driver in the city, among 202 men drivers.I've always wanted to drive big vehicles. I learned how to drive when I was 10 with my father's four-wheel-drive, but it was my mother who taught me how to drive," Aslantaş had said in her U.N. article, smashing gender stereotypes.

She also touched on the issue of gender inequality, pointing out that women have heavier workloads compared to men in their daily lives -- as women are automatically assigned the role of mothers, caregivers and housewives alongside their professional duties at the workplace.

"This is an incredibly demanding job. We work very long hours and have only one day off. For my male colleagues, their work ends here and when they go home, they can rest. But when I arrive at home, I wash my hands and head straight to the kitchen. I feel like I'm resting more in the bus while driving. I love what I'm doing, it would have been impossible to do this job otherwise. My only rule in life is to continue what I start. I'm not a quitter, and I will go on doing my job for as long as I can," she added, exuding great determination.

U.N. Women is an entity working to empower women and improve gender equality around the world. Last year, it provided gender-responsive budgeting training to the Edirne municipality, and as a result, women bus drivers were recruited for the municipality's public transport system for the first time.

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