Mekaile Veselaj is one of the two female instructors at “Lumi” driving school in Peja, and one of the few women in Kosovo who has this profession.

According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, a total of 275 driving schools of all categories are registered in Kosovo. There are a total of 1,098 drivers in these schools, of which 172 are women.

Nora Rama, a student from Prishtina, thinks that the prejudices toward women come from the fact that men grow up with the idea of having cars and driving, and that`s why they are considered to be more mechanically skilled from an early age.

“Women are better in respecting the rules and being more careful when driving, but men are better in learning to drive faster. I needed around ten extra hours to learn driving compared to my brother, who feels more confident with less driving hours than me, and drives like a professional,” she says.

This prejudice exists for female instructors as well.

Ten years ago, when Veselaj started working at the driving school, she got licensed as a driving instructor for category “B” from the Ministry of Infrastructure.

She says that, although not often, there were times when the customers felt insulted for having a female instructor. But, according to her, there was no reason for them to feel that way.

“It rarely occurs that women are those who cause accidents, specifically those that end in fatality, and men judge until they are convinced of the opposite. In comparing the work we do during the year, we have a few cases when a young boy aged 18-19 considers it an offense to be taught driving by a woman,” she says.

Veselaj, who is a business graduate, is also studying at the Faculty of Education in Prishtina, hoping to become a teacher. However, she plans to continue her work as a part-time instructor.

She explains what pushed her to choose this profession.

“My will to drive and spread knowledge started at an early stage and I achieved this goal by working with clients who want to be successful drivers. Another reason was that I could get a job easier, since my husband is the owner of the driving school,” Veselaj says.

Yllëza Mazrekaj, a student at the Faculty of Arts in Prishtina, who completed her driving hours with a male instructor from the same driving school, says that women are judged for being more unskillful when it comes to driving a vehicle. She adds that it wouldn`t be a problem for her and she would feel the same with a female instructor.

On the other hand, Defrim Kurtaj, a student of architecture at the University of Prishtina, who got the driving license four months ago, is even more supportive of female driving instructors.

“I completed my driving hours with a man, except the last hour, which I completed with a woman and I had a good time. In different cases, it depends on the person too, women instructors are more skillful and teach you very good,” he says.

Doruntina Stojkaj