The Future is Pink

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Training mums to drive tuk tuks as taxis for other mums and children

About The Future is Pink

In 2017 we rolled out our ground breaking pilot programme with the first three single parent mums training to be tuk tuk drivers. This unique concept of women driving for women in highly visible pink tuk tuks as a taxi service is breaking gender and cultural barriers.

The benefits are twofold. Not only can mums generate a sustainable income for their families, but also provide personal safety for women and girls travelling to work and school. Our women drivers are the first in the Southern Province and our aim is to dramatically increase this number over the next few years.

How do women and children benefit?

  • Families are lifted out of poverty through the generation of a reliable source of income for their single parent mums.
  • Children are kept together with their mums rather than being torn apart by poverty.
  • Children have positive female role models
  • Children can travel to school safely
  • Safe journeys for Women and girls with no risk of  sexual harassment and abuse
  • Gender equality is promoted
  • Mums have more time to work as daughters do not need to be chaperoned to school.

Why is there a need for the Future is Pink?

Only 34% of Sri Lankan women in the economically active age group are employed (Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey Annual Report)

90% of women aged 15-35 have been subjected to sexual harassment experiences on public transport (United Nations Population Fund Sri Lanka- UNFPASL)

55% of women said they suffered sexual harassment experiences on public transport at least once a month (UNFPASL)

78% of women felt angry, 68% felt humiliated, 48% felt scared, and 45% felt degraded and demeaned (UNFPASL)

The Future is Pink works towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:

The Future is Pink fits with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC):

  • Article 9- Right to a family life
  • Article 19 – Right to protection from all forms of violence
  • Article 27- An adequate standard of living

Dilta’s Story

Dilta is one of the first women in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka to become a tuk tuk driver. She can be seen every day driving her pink tuk tuk taking small groups of excited children on the school run. Afterwards, she takes women to their daily jobs and every week takes the incense sticks she makes to market to sell. In the afternoons, she takes teenage girls to their afterschool classes. Their mothers are pleased to know that their daughters are safe travelling with Dilta and this gives them more time to work rather than chaperoning. Dilta has established her taxi business quickly, once word got around in her neighbourhood she soon had a waiting list for school runs. Dilta was able to rent her pink tuk tuk knowing that she could manage the repayments every month out of her earnings. School runs are a good source of income as they are reliable, and this has had a positive impact on her children who are now performing better in school. They are both very proud of their mum. 

Where next for The Future is Pink?

Our vision is to scale up this pilot project (see impact infographic above) which we have been running successfully for the last year. We aim to get 100 mums on the road in Sri Lanka and make women drivers visibile.