Uber on Thursday announced Masaruky – Arabic for “your path” – a two-year initiative that aims to increase women’s participation in the workforce in Saudi Arabia.
The initiative aims to improve access to affordable transportation, in addition to increasing women’s access to flexible, part time economic opportunities through the Uber technology.
The campaign will kick off with an initial SR1 million pledge to make driving schools accessible to more women who are interested in learning how to drive but may not have the resources to do so.
Anthony Khoury, Uber regional general manager said: “With Masaruky and the announcement of the 1 million riyals pledge, we’re seeking to contribute to the new chapter for women mobility in the kingdom.
“The same way our technology has brought a positive impact to more than 18 cities around the kingdom, this will help us in further supporting women towards achieving their economic ambitions and goals, because not only do we enable more convenient ways to move around cities – but we also strive to drive change that is positive, meaningful and economically empowering.”
There are currently 1.3 million women in the Saudi workplace – 22 percent of the total workforce, a figure that the Kingdom’s government expects to increase to 30 percent by 2030.
Recent research, in collaboration with Ipsos, has found that 93 percent of Saudi females were positive about the lifting of the driving ban which becomes law in June, mostly because it will allow them more flexibility to work.
78 percent said they are likely to get a driving licence post ban removal, and almost a third (31 percent) of those surveyed, indicated that they were interested in driving as an earnings opportunity.
Uber said it has been well received by driver-partners in the kingdom since its launch. The company recently announced that it has already taken on over 150,000 Saudi partner-drivers on the app.