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An investigation into the challenges confronted by long-distance female truck drivers in South Africa.

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There are many professions which have historically been dominated by males, and long-distance truck driving is a case in point. This notion is supported by Naysmith and Rubincam (2012) who stated that the long-distance truck driving profession is very much dominated by males and that has been the case for many years. However, in recent times an increasing number of women have been steadily entering this profession and Reed and Cronin (2003) concurs with this statement by stating that a growing number of women in Western nations like the United States of America have been entering this profession in the past few decades. Moreover, this trend has transcended to developing nations like South Africa as the country has seen an increasing number of women entering the sphere of long-distance truck driving in the last decade. However, many issues arise as a result of the under representation of women in the long-distance truck driving profession. When elaborating further on this, Sicard (2012) stated that since women are still a minority in this sector, they are then exposed to a lot of challenges; it is those challenges experienced by those women working in this very male-dominated sector that this study will be seeking to uncover. Some of the structural barriers within this profession have not been removed and consequently result in some of the challenges that long-distance female truck drivers experience, as identified by (Naysmith and Rubincam, 2012). Furthermore, this study was conducted as a secondary research whereby useful literature exploring the role of women in the transport sector was consulted and then carefully analysed employing Content Analysis. Interestingly, it discovered that women working in the transport sector all share similar challenges in their line of work as they are a minority in this sector. This research established that female long distance truck drivers, female taxi drivers and female bus drivers face the similar challenges within their respective professions in South Africa. The challenges of work-life balance, sexual harassment, health and safety being the very common ones. Lastly, in South Africa the legislation governing the workplace protects the rights of women and labour laws like the Employment Equity Act of 1998 motivates for their employment into previously male dominated industries like long distance truck driving. Therefore, this makes the South African long-distance truck driving sphere more favourable for women to achieve their professional aspirations and for this reason we are more likely to witness them entering this profession in huge numbers every year.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.