At first glance, the Toyota Corolla looked like any other taxi bumping along the craggy street. In the back seat, three women wore blue burkas that covered their faces and bodies. In the front passenger seat, a bearded man sat stone-faced. The radio piped out a soulful Afghan song.
But the person behind the steering wheel – with coal-black hair, round face and purple scarf – has made taxi No. 12925 a revolution of sorts. Sara Bahayi is Afghanistan’s first female taxi driver in recent memory, and she is believed to be the only one actively working in the country. She’s 38, unmarried and outspoken. And in a highly patriarchal society, where women are considered second-class citizens and often abused, Ms Bahayi is brazenly upending gender roles.