Breaking Iron Clad Ceilings: Eunice Peneti First Female Driver Kenya’s Amboseli National Park

Eunice Peneti, 30, becomes the first female driver in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. Eunice, who was already a trailblazer as a member of Team Lioness, recently became the first female ranger in Amboseli to learn to drive and acquire a license.
Driving is still seen as a predominantly male activity in the patriarchal Maasai society, with vehicles deemed too large and difficult for women to handle. Men in the Maasai community are usually reluctant to ride with a licensed female driver.
Despite these barriers, Eunice was determined. She found herself in several circumstances where no one was available to drive while working as a radio operator for the Olgulului Community Wildlife Rangers (OCWR). She called IFAW for assistance with driver training, which she swiftly completed. Her ability to drive now makes her a useful asset to Team Lioness, her community, and Amboseli conservation efforts.
With Eunice in the driver’s seat, Team Lioness is more self-sufficient and can cover more ground when patrolling community lands, as female rangers no longer depend on the availability of male drivers to journey long distances. “On foot, we can cover 30 kilometers, but in a vehicle, we can cover 60 or 70 kilometers,” Eunice adds. IFAW has also given the team a vehicle, which will aid in their conservation and community engagement efforts.
“I am very proud to be the first one in our culture or in Amboseli to become a driver because now my colleagues can see that it is possible for a woman to be a driver,” says Eunice. “For me, taking care of animals and other human beings is a big thing because I am looking out for our future generations so that they also may find what we have preserved and continue to protect it.”

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