Uber and Al Nahda agree to provide more women access to driving

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Time: April 26, 2018

RIYADH — Uber and Al Nahda, a non-profit women’s society, on Wednesday announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together toward empowering more women to drive. The partnership will see Al Nahda, through its catalogue of empowering programs, help Uber identify underprivileged women who are interested in learning how to drive and obtaining a license, but may not have the resources to do so.

The partnership falls under Uber’s ‘Masaruky’ (“your path” in Arabic) initiative – which was announced earlier in March and includes a SR1 million pledge that aims to increase women’s participation in the workforce through access to affordable transportation, in addition to increasing women’s access to flexible, part time economic opportunities through the use of Uber technology.

Commenting on the announcement, Barney Harford, Uber Global Chief Operating Officer, said: “Masaruky has provided us with a platform for collaboration with a range of partners that can help increase accessibility and economic opportunities for women – something we’re very proud of. Today’s MoU with Al Nahda demonstrates that Uber’s impact does not end with the flexibility and convenience it has introduced to millions around the world, but that we also strive to drive change that is positive, meaningful and economically empowering to all.”

Rasha Al Turki, Al Nahda CEO, said: “Al-Nahda and Uber share a similar vision towards the importance of women’s increased access to work and we are excited to be the first partner to collaborate under Uber’s Masaruky initiative as we work together to empower more women to drive. This is a natural progression of our work together and we look forward to building on this partnership as we move into a new chapter for Saudi Arabia.”

‘Masaruky’ comes off the back of months of research to understand what transport solutions will best serve Saudi women on the road to Vision 2030. Uber’s research, carried out in collaboration with Ipsos earlier this year, found that 78% of Saudi women surveyed were likely to get a driving license post ban removal, and almost a third (31%) of those surveyed, indicated that they were interested in driving as an earnings opportunity.

As part of the agreement, Uber will become Al Nahda’s “Exclusive Transportation Partner” at all their events across the Kingdom, and the non-profit women empowerment society will in return become the partner-of-choice for the ‘Masaruky’ initiative.

Uber have been running regular women listening sessions over the months, the first of which took place late last year with a number of influential female representatives present, and was led by the technology company’s global CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Discussions have focused largely on Uber’s priorities and upcoming plans for women in the Kingdom. The sessions have proven crucial for both participating women and Uber, giving those in attendance the chance to learn about both the process and economic impact that Uber can have. — SG

This article was first published Saudi Gazette

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