Breaking stereotypes

Multifaceted star

Breaking stereotypes

Bollywood actor Gul Panag says the notion that women are not good drivers comes from a strong stereotypical conditioning where men are given more importance.

The actor says the conditioning begins at a very young age where girls are told to do only certain things.

“Statistically, women are actually better drivers. If you look up statistics, there are lesser women involved in accidents than men but it’s also because there are lesser drivers,” Gul said.

“The thing is we do stereotypification at a very young age. At a young age you are told that if you are a girl, then you just do arts you don’t need to do science or if you are a girl then you ride a gearless scooter because you can’t change gears,” she added.

The 38-year-old actor, who is also a licensed pilot, feels these notions “have been put in our head at a very young age.”

“Typically in a household, if there is a boy and a girl and they are similar in age, the boy will get a chance to learn to drive first. It’s because of the conditioning that happens in our environment that women are perhaps less confident. This is also why they are less reckless and safer drivers because they are involved in lesser accidents statistically.”

Gul was part of the United Spirits — Diageo National Road Safety Conclave held recently.

As part of the National Road Safety Week, the ‘Dor’ actor lent her support for the cause and urged citizens to not drink and drive.

Gul said, “We are a young democracy and so are obsessed with rights but often we don’t give much focus on our duties.” “We are taught about our fundamental rights in school, but no one remembers our fundamental duties as there never has been a focus on following them. Adhering to the laws is our duty as citizens and this awareness can be imparted through multiple formats — from your home, school and immediate environment. You should also know that if you disregard this law, you will have to face severe consequences.”

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