Studies revealed that female Uber drivers in Saudi Arabioa prefers to drive only women. Therefore, Uber decided launched a feature in Saudi Arabia that allow female drivers to chose a preference for female-only riders.
What actually started as a pilot program in September last year, after feedback showed that up to 74 percent of Saudi Arabian female Uber drivers were only looking for women to drive is now officially gaining ground in the country. The app transportation company doesn’t seem to be interested in applying the rule globally. Though, there have been countless reports of female users and drivers of both Uber and other transportation companies facing abuse.
Saudi Arabia had banned its women from driving commercially but later saw the need to lift the ban last year’s June. It was also part of Crowned Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030” to improve economic development, which its one aspect is increasing women’s participation in the workforce from existing 22 percent to a dream 30 percent.
In Saudi Arabia, Uber and its previous rival and later became subsidiary Careem, launched respective initiatives to train and bring-in more women into the driving business. By October, Careem claimed to have 2,000 registered women drivers on the road, while Uber only had a “handful,” per CNBC.
Saudi Arabia owns a 5 percent stake in Uber through its Public Investment Fund. The country announced new regulations to ensure a “comfortable” working environment for women. The directives which was issued by the Ministry for Labour and Social Development in January this year, said employers must create “a suitable environment for women to carry out their responsibilities” and they must see to it that women receive equal pay with men, The National revealed.