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Aug 11, 2023

A Woman’s Life in a Male-dominated Profession.

Jump in because this week’s Bright Side took us on a ride with Linda Gilharry, a taxi operator in Belize City. She has been in the profession for three decades and shared how her journey in a male dominated role has not only made a living for herself and her family but is setting up her retirement plan. Here’s that story.


Sabreena Daly, Reporting
It is midday, the busiest time of the day and around this time, taxi drivers are either picking up their customers from grocery store runs or to other destinations they’re headed to. Public transportation is a saturated industry, but one face you don’t always see as drivers is that of a woman. Hi, miss Linda.


Linda Gilharry

“Hello, Hi.”


It’s crunch time for Linda Gilharry, a taxi operator stationed in Belize City. She’s headed to pick up her loyal customers that call her personally, but she also extends her transportation services to individuals she meets along the way. We accompanied her to learn more.

Linda Gilharry

Linda Gilharry, Taxi Driver
“Well, it is busy for me because of the fact that I am the only one that would be out there by the public supermarket within that time, most of the time. All the other drivers, they would probably go home or, you know, I don’t know where but most of the time between twelve and one, it’s only me to sit on out there. So then it gets busy for me because I am the only one that runs most of the time within that time.”

Linda Gilharry
“In the morning, early in the morning, that’s when everybody is moving, you know. Either to get to work, they don’t want to be late so they would catch a taxi and also during school time. That’s also very busy because I even have some school kids who I run too. You know, take them to school on a daily basis.”


Gilharry has been providing taxi services for the past thirty years. She is even the vice president of the taxi association she represents. But what was it that made her take on this career path?

Linda Gilharry
“I have a problem with bosses. You have nice bosses, but you have some of them who just insult you in front of people. I can’t handle that. When shame takes my face, I get ignorant. So before that, I decided that I have to do something on my own.”

Linda Gilharry

“I get up outta my bed from like, well, two o’clock in the morning so I can make some little mini burgers from bread rolls and I sell them for only $1 and 25 cents. And I make tamarind juice, beet juice, watermelon juice, any foods I could make, I make juice and I sell them.”

Linda Gilharry

“When I come early in the morning, I’d sell burgers and juice. On Sundays I cook food where I live in Lord’s Bank. That’s how I make my living but I stick with the taxi because I was already in it for so many years. But it doesn’t really pay right now. Mainly because of the price of gas and the price that you will have to charge your passengers, sometimes they are not comfortable with it.”


Despite the traditionally male-dominated nature of being a taxi operator, Gilharry courageously pursued her career, navigating challenges posed by lack of male support and prevailing stereotypes.

Linda Gilharry
“I started like when I was thirty, because now I will be sixty-one. When I first started, the guys had their problems because they thought as a woman, you are supposed to be home being in the kitchen, cooking and washing and doing those types of stuff, you know? But no, I am a leader, so I stick with it and so we would quarrel. We fight, we cuss, you name it, we have it, me and them. But I stand up for my rights. I put down my foot so they can’t play with me.”


We picked up a pair of customers who described what it means to them seeing a female behind the wheel taking them to their destination.

Isanny Pook

Isanny Pook, Costumer

“Yeah, I see it commonly now, like more than one female. I have seen about five.”


Kay Baptist - Pook

Kay Baptist – Pook, Costumer
“Listen to me, in Belize, a lot of people say there are no jobs. But jobs are out there if you really want to work.  You commute everyday to your job and you see more females going to work than males.”


Sabreena Daly

“So how do you feel when you see a female in this profession?”


Kay Baptist – Pook

“I feel good. That’s why you are seeing me catch a female taxi.i prefer them. I’ll give them my money.”

Linda Gilharry
I see some new ladies now who run taxis and just came. But they had, they had before me, but some of them have gone away. Some of them died. I had my sister, she was before me. She used to run from Novello’s terminal, but she stopped. She got tired of it and she stopped.”


In the business of taxi services, inherent risks also exist. Gilharry shared with us her experience where her safety was compromised when a student held her at knifepoint.

Linda Gilharry

“One Sunday, a young man caught my taxi. He said, I’m going to Faber’s Road and all of a sudden, he just pulled out one knife at me, you know. So then I started to talk to him because he paid me for the taxi, everything. But it seems as though he was stressed out and so I just kept my calm and I talked to him. I talked him into putting down the knife. He then started to explain to me that his mother and father died and he was living with his auntie. They didn’t want to pay his school fees and he was going to school at St. John’s College. So, I just spoke to him. At first he didn’t trust me because he thought I would call the police but I told him, no, I wouldn’t call the police. I was kind of afraid, but I tried not to show it. I took him and he tried to pay me when I got there but I told him no. I don’t want the money. You keep the money, use it to pay your passage. I even gave him back the ten dollars that he gave me to take him to Faber’s road. But that was the only time I encountered something where somebody actually had me in a hostage situation. And I talked that child right out of that, he never harmed me or anything. I dropped him and he went about his business. From then up to this very moment, I never set my eyes back on the young man again.”


When it is all said and done, this endeavor stands as a testament to the pursuit of a fulfilling career. Linda has not only secured a livelihood for herself and her family, but has also channeled her income towards crafting her retirement strategy.

Linda Gilharry

“Until now, I am here, fully established.  A lot of people know me.  People that I didnt even know, knew who i am. And I am still here. I have a little project that I am working on. Mm-hmm for my retirement. So that’s why I’m still hanging on to the taxi business, but as soon as I finish that, I’ll stop.”


Sabreena Daly

“You wanna share what your retirement business is?”


Linda Gilharry

“Yes, I built some rooms on my land to rent. I am trying to finish them off. I need to do the finishing part, like putting in their bath and making everybody have their own bathroom to make it look nice and comfortable for them. So I said when I am finished with that then I’ll just cook on the weekends.”


Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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