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Car - it is true that girls from ex-USSR mostly don’t drive?

Author: Elena Ivanova

According to the different estimates there are from 13 to 15 millions of car owners. And only 10 per cents of them are women (in Moscow – 30 per cents). Do Russian women really prefer going by foot? Or maybe they enjoy tucking in a bus where it is hard to stand and not to touch someone, instead of morning exercises?

This is the way of the world there since the time of USSR that if there was a car in a family (it was very hard to get a “talon” for assignment of a car even if one had money) it was driven by a head of a family – a man. There was a very little number of women driving and all children in the neighborhood went to look at them. At the time of perestroika the situation has started changing and more and more women started getting behind a wheel. But there are still much less women than men driving on the roads.

First of all, cars are expensive. It is possible to buy it on credit, but to pay even only 150 Euro for a car from 500 Euro of salary means to abandon something else. Petroleum is expensive, if a car is not new it is very hard to find a good car service where a woman is not charge too much, because women are not good at everything connected with cars. But public transportation is very developed and even though in the morning and in the evening buses are full, it is rather easy to get to work and home, it costs less than 1 euro to go there and back.

That is what Russian women say:

Olga, 33 y.o. : "I have driving license, but I don’t resolve to get behind a wheel. The traffic on the road in my city is very stressful, and drivers-men usually behave very aggressive, they don’t follow traffic rules. Every day I see lots of incidence on the roads and think whether I would also have to wait for police for 2-3 hours and later to stand in long queues of insurance companies. If I find my beloved man abroad I would enjoy driving. I have been to Europe and I have seen that local drivers mostly respect each other. And if a pedestrian stands on the street, he is surely let pass. It is different here".

Elena. 40 y.o.: "And I drive a car, I take pleasure in it. I work as a real estate agency and it is impossible for me to go everywhere by the public transportation. If I did I would always be late for meeting. I have been driving for 8 years and I drive recklessly even when it snows and when roads are slippery. My car is my little mobile home, I love her greatly".

Lilia, 25 y.o.: "I have a small red Daewoo Matiz. I adore it, it is a very feminine car, comfortable, maneuvering, easy to park. When there is no snow, everything is nice, but difficulties appear in winter. I don’t have a garage, I live in a usual aparts house and every winter morning is a lottery for me – whether I manage to start the car or not. Last winter was very frosty and unfortunately most commonly I had to call a taxi or to go by bus. I think it is necessary for a woman to drive a car as good as a man. I think that it is one of the stereotypes of our society that when a woman gets behind a wheel it is danger, we drive more carefully and we are more polite on the road".


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