Photos: Pakistan’s women truck drivers beat the dust, empower themselves

UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2017 05:46 PM IST 9 Photos
1 / 9
Gulaban, 25, seen climbing onto a 60-tonne truck to drive it in Islamkot, Pakistan. Many women are training to be truck-drivers as the vehicles are used in Thar desert for mining, while Pakistan bets on cheap coal to resolve its energy crisis. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

Gulaban, 25, seen climbing onto a 60-tonne truck to drive it in Islamkot, Pakistan. Many women are training to be truck-drivers as the vehicles are used in Thar desert for mining, while Pakistan bets on cheap coal to resolve its energy crisis. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2017 05:46 PM IST
2 / 9
Gulaban, 25, adjusts a fan before driving a 60-tonne truck during a training session of the ‘Female Dump Truck Driver Programme’ in Islamkot, Pakistan. She is among 30 women being trained by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), which will need 300-400 trucks once they burrow deep enough to reach the coal in the Thar desert. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

Gulaban, 25, adjusts a fan before driving a 60-tonne truck during a training session of the ‘Female Dump Truck Driver Programme’ in Islamkot, Pakistan. She is among 30 women being trained by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), which will need 300-400 trucks once they burrow deep enough to reach the coal in the Thar desert. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2017 05:46 PM IST
3 / 9
Gulaban applies the break pedal during a training session in Pakistan. “At the beginning, I was a bit nervous but now it’s normal to drive this dumper,” said Gulaban, clad in a pink and blue saree. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

Gulaban applies the break pedal during a training session in Pakistan. “At the beginning, I was a bit nervous but now it’s normal to drive this dumper,” said Gulaban, clad in a pink and blue saree. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2017 05:46 PM IST
4 / 9
The training program for women is elaborate as they are taught to familiarize themselves with the path of the trucks that they will eventually drive among other technical details. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

The training program for women is elaborate as they are taught to familiarize themselves with the path of the trucks that they will eventually drive among other technical details. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2017 05:46 PM IST
5 / 9
Women listen to the instructor during a training session of the ‘Female Dump Truck Driver Programme’ held by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) in Islamkot, Tharparkar, Pakistan. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

Women listen to the instructor during a training session of the ‘Female Dump Truck Driver Programme’ held by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) in Islamkot, Tharparkar, Pakistan. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2017 05:46 PM IST
6 / 9
Outside of the gruelling training sessions in Islamkot, the women share a light moment before climbing into heavy 60-tonne trucks. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

Outside of the gruelling training sessions in Islamkot, the women share a light moment before climbing into heavy 60-tonne trucks. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2017 05:46 PM IST
7 / 9
Once the women complete their training as truck-drivers, they will be moved to regular jobs within the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) in Pakistan. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

Once the women complete their training as truck-drivers, they will be moved to regular jobs within the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) in Pakistan. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2017 05:46 PM IST
8 / 9
One of the first women to be trained successfully, Gulaban 25, is seen in the kitchen of her home in Islamkot, Tharparkar, Pakistan. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

One of the first women to be trained successfully, Gulaban 25, is seen in the kitchen of her home in Islamkot, Tharparkar, Pakistan. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2017 05:46 PM IST
9 / 9
Gulaban, seen driving her family, has stolen the march on her fellow trainees because she was the only woman who knew how to drive a car before training to be a truck driver. She continues to be an inspiration to women who hope to empower themselves through driving. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

Gulaban, seen driving her family, has stolen the march on her fellow trainees because she was the only woman who knew how to drive a car before training to be a truck driver. She continues to be an inspiration to women who hope to empower themselves through driving. (Akhtar Soomro / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 03, 2017 05:46 PM IST
SHARE
Story Saved