By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Bus conducting ( mates ) by convention used to be a trade held in reserve for males, but not anymore, as females bus conductors are gradually on the increase in Accra with passengers expressing satisfaction over their conducts as compared to their male counterparts.
A visit to some major public transport terminals and bus stops in the capital revealed that not only are a lot of young women joining the bus conducting trade but are also winning the trust of their masters (drivers ) and are deemed more courteous and polite by passengers.
At the popular “Tema Station’’ at Accra central, the local GPRTU Chairman confirmed the upswing in female bus conductors , noting that most drivers find them more trustworthy and hardworking.
“We are very ready to accommodate more female “mates’’ because they have consistently shown loyalty and courtesy to their “masters” and passengers alike,” Mr Atitsogbi told the Daily Express in an interview.
The situation was not different at the Tetteh Quashie, 37 and Nungua bus terminals where commuters and bus owners were full of praise for the female “mates” they have encountered.
“It is an interesting development and I must admit I am very much impressed. The few female conductors I have met look more respectful and responsible than most of the guys, " one content commuter in a Teshie bound van said.
The Daily Express gathered that most of these female conductors were hitherto unemployed or engaged in trades which they now consider less attractive as compared to bus conducting.
For others too, the move is just to support their husbands who are either drivers or bus owners.
Doris Amuzu, 32, one of such female ‘mates’ narrated that even though some passengers look down on her , she is not perturbed and finds her job very enjoying.
According to her, not only is she able to fend for herself and her only child but also intends to learn how to drive and own a bus soon.
“ There is nothing like a job prescribed for only males so once it is legal , I do not think there should be any impediments,” the determined woman who used to sell bananas for a living stated.
According to her, she was initially apprehensive on how the public’s reaction would be, but judging from the stories from other women who are in the business , she be came more determined. She was grateful to her boss and all other men who are giving opportunities to women to explore.
On his part, Mr Joseph K Ashangmor Doris’ master said Doris approached him a year ago that she wanted to be a “mate” which he obliged because she looked determined.
“With the female mate, qualms with commuters have reduced and I do not have to step in to settle petty disputes as I used to do with my former trainee,” Mr Ashangmor said.