In Saudi Arabia, due to the conservative culture, women are not allowed to drive cars however they are being encouraged to work outside the home. In fact, the country just announced incentives to bring a further 1.3 million women into the workforce by 2030. Okay… but how are they going to get to work? Enter Uber. (And also a local ride-sharing app service named Careem).
According to Reuters, Uber and Careem “offer women an alternative to being driven to work by chauffeurs, male relatives or the shabby taxi system.” Marwa Afandi, a 36-year-old marketing executive, comments: “This is the next best thing to women being able to drive, because you are in control of your time, no more wasteful waiting around.”
As Reuters points out, the ride-sharing services has “done little to take away the yearning for women to drive. Some are concerned that it has made it even less likely that the government will ever allow women to get behind a steering wheel.”
Uber announced last Spring that a Saudi wealth fund had invested in the company which drove some Saudi women to Twitter with the hashtag “Saudi women announce Uber boycott.”