Dhaka, Jul 7(BAN/CD): Challenging gender stereotypes, Rabeya Sultana Rabbi works as a mechanic in Dhaka’s Panthapath area, where her garage is situated. Known as “Mechanic Rabbi Apa”, she’s the sole female mechanic in a field largely dominated by men.
Currently she is working for a non-governmental organization, CARE Bangaldesh as an auto-repair mechanic, Rabeya originally planned to work in the formal sector so as to support her family.
Unable to afford school fees, Rabeya could not sit for Secondary School Certificate(SSC) exams.
Growing up in extreme poverty, Rabeya decided to become self-reliant. Her father Abdul Aziz Farazy was a small-scale vegetable seller who had to support his family of eight.
When CARE Bangladesh offered training in two programs: sewing and driving, Rabeya chose the latter.
Since then, Rabeya has been working as a mechanic for the last 11 years. She is also a mother of a four year old boy.
According to Dhaka Tribune, Rabeya says that she earns enough to support two families. She supports her parents and her husband and son.
“When I visit my hometown, people criticize me be saying that I am doing a man’s job, to which I respond: Women have the capability and determination to do all kinds of work,” she said.
CARE Bangladesh Transport Manager, Md Selim Sheikh, told Dhaka Tribune that they currently have about 12 female drivers and 1 female mechanic working for the organization.
Selim further added that Rabeya is so good at her job that she can determine what’s wrong with the engine or wheels just by putting her hands on it.
Rabeya hopes to open her own garage one day.
“My son says he wants to become an aeronautical engineer. I hope to one day make this dream of his into reality,” she added.