It won’t be wrong to say that many women I know (including myself) have a huge girl-crush on Gul Panag. The former beauty queen, model, actress, producer, biker and licensed pilot has been a constant inspiration for several women and for reasons more than one.
Panag is one woman who has always inspired women to go beyond their comfort zone and strive harder. Gul was recently part of the United Spirits – Diageo National Road Safety Conclave held yesterday. Lending her support for the cause, she urged citizens to not drink and drive. Gul called India “a young democracy” and said that we are “obsessed” with rights but don’t pay much attention to duties. She said,
“We are taught about our fundamental right in school, but no one remembers our fundamental duties as there has never 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 and you should also know that if you disregard this law you will have to face severe consequences.”
A large part of Gul’s conversation focused on shunning stereotypes around women drivers. She said that the notion that women are not good drivers comes from a strong stereotypical conditioning where men are given more importance. The actress says the conditioning begins at a very young age where girls are told to do only certain things.
A PTI report quoted the actor saying,
“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. 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 gear less scooter because you can’t change gears.”
The 38-year-old actress, who is also a licensed pilot, feels these notions “have been put in our head at a very young age.” She added,
“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 and this is why they are less reckless and safer drivers because they are involved in lesser accidents statistically.”