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(HUSSAIN RADWAN/AFP/Getty Images)
(HUSSAIN RADWAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Car culture

Uber gives its women drivers in Saudi Arabia the option to bypass men

By WITW Staff on April 17, 2019

Uber has implemented a feature for its women drivers in Saudi Arabia that allows them to only give rides to other women.

The decision came after Uber offered the feature to Saudi women drivers as part of a pilot program in September that proved a hit in the predominantly gender-segregated country. Following the program, 74 percent of Uber’s Saudi women drivers told the company that they didn’t want to pick up men. The ride-sharing company has thus far said that the women-only feature will remain exclusive to Saudi Arabia.

After Saudi Arabia finally lifted its ban on women drivers last June, Uber and its former Middle Eastern rival Careem announced that they would be launching initiatives to train women drivers. While Uber was only able to recruit a “handful” of women drivers by last October, Careem, which has since been acquired by Uber, reported that they had managed to hire 2,000 registered women drivers.

In recent days, a number of companies have been scrambling to offer the Islamic Kingdom exclusive features that conform to the country’s unforgiving stance toward gender equality. Both Google and Apple, for instance, have repeatedly refused to remove apps from their stores that allow men to track the movements of women — and even to cancel women’s visas and legally bar them from traveling in real time.

Read the full story at Engadget.

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