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  • Yeah, women are finally in the driving seat and are pushing full speed ahead on gender equality in the Russian capital.

  • Marina del G is doing her dream job as a metro driver.

  • She started working at the Moscow Metro almost 18 years ago.

  • At the time, she didn't know that women couldn't legally drive the subway trains.

  • Now they finally can.

  • And Irina says, for her, it was worth the wait.

  • Is my childhood dream.

  • I used to play with model ships and airplanes with the boys.

  • My father is a pilot.

  • I'd like technical stuff since I was little.

  • So why the Metro?

  • Somehow it drew me in the fact that it's underground.

  • I guess it's like flying but under the ground.

  • Radical podium, navy, etc.

  • Before every shift Arena gives the Metro train, she'll be driving a once over.

  • She looks for damage and vandalism and checks that all the fire extinguishers or where they should be a moment of calm before the empty cars fill up with commuters.

  • Again, Irina has a lot of experience dealing with passengers.

  • She worked as a station guard on the platform for years.

  • Now, as a driver, she tries to get a sense of each individual Metro train.

  • Her connection to the train she's driving feels almost spiritual to her.

  • In Russia, people say the way a ship sails depends on what name you give it.

  • I treat each train like a person, and I think each train has a soul, too.

  • One train I drove had a male soul, but most of them are female.

  • The feeling of driving the Metro is like pure happiness.

  • I'm happy when I'm driving the problem.

  • Irina is proud to be one of the 1st 12 female metro drivers.

  • After all, the Moscow subway is legendary.

  • Its construction began in the 19 thirties.

  • At the time the Soviet government wanted to build a palace for the people for commuting workers.

  • And it shows.

  • In the 19 eighties, the government banned women from the driver's seat of these trains.

  • They said the metro is too deep underground, too loud and too dark to be safe for women.

  • And they said the constant vibration from the trains could damage women's so called childbearing function.

  • A new generation brought new trains and a drive for change, though it's not quite a U turn.

  • For now, women drivers are only being deployed in the most modern trains and only on the Filipowski line, which runs over ground for part of its route.

  • And that's despite the fact the women have the exact same training as their male counterparts.

  • We don't differentiate between women and men.

  • There is one single training program, and all the metro drivers need to know it.

  • But of course there are still the first women.

  • This metro line is less busy.

  • The volume of passengers isn't quite as high because this line runs mainly over ground.

  • It is less of a health risk.

  • The Moscow Metro has been celebrating its new generation of women drivers.

  • They've even released a limited edition Barbie for the occasion, admittedly not the most clear cut symbol for gender equality.

  • There are advertisements for the dolls in the subway itself.

  • You can be who you want to be, is the slogan.

  • But for women in Russia, that's still not quite true.

  • Metal manufacturing, like the work in this steel mill, is still off limits to women.

  • Mining and drilling on an oil rig are also considered men's work.

  • 100 jobs are still banned for women.

  • The list of banned jobs was initially introduced after the Second World War to drive up the birth rate.

  • This year, the Russian government published an updated list, but lawmakers in the country are still driven by traditional family values and deep seated patriarchal attitudes.

  • We treat women with care here.

  • These tough jobs and hard labor are still seen as men's work in our society.

  • Also, women are mothers, so providing for and taking care of their health and their reproductive functions is important.

  • That is why we used recommendations from doctors to determine factors that are harmful to women at work.

  • Irina L.

  • G is on her way to work.

  • She does her commute there on the Metro to mixing with the other passengers ahead of her shift.

  • I think the moment will come when the government allows women to carry out the band professions.

  • I'm sure they are working on it already.

  • The bands must be in place for a reason.

  • The government is taking care of women.

  • I would tell other women to keep believing and keep hoping.

  • Then their dream will come true.

  • Two.

  • No matter who you want to become, everything is possible.

  • Irina already has her dream job, and the next group of women will start training to become drivers soon.

  • But outside of these metro tunnels, gender equality is still a long way away.

Yeah, women are finally in the driving seat and are pushing full speed ahead on gender equality in the Russian capital.

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B1 metro train moscow driving gender equality equality

Women get the green light in Moscow metro | Focus on Europe

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/09
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