Uber service in Saudi Arabia has allowed for provisions for women drivers to opt for women passengers. This new feature is known as Women Preferred View. The company said that they had conducted months of research in finding out the concerns and preferences of women drivers.
The ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia was removed in last June. Women face a lot of restrictions in Saudi Arabia. Mixing of women and men in public events is banned however some restrictions have been eased recently. Uber has said that in the recent survey conducted by them it was found that most of the women drivers were interested in women passengers only. The Uber Middle East and North Africa general manager, Abdellatif Waked said that this new feature will be opening up new opportunities for women as Uber drivers, while still respecting the cultural norms. The company also said that presently it has not thought about rolling out this feature to their other markets.
In view of the safety-related incidents, lawmakers and customers in US are demanding more provisions for ensuring safety. Uber spokesperson for the Middle East, Shaden Abdellatif said that this new women centered approach was designed especially for Saudi Arabia as the women here were going through an important cultural transformation. The MoveOn.org was another effort with a view to enable passengers to select women drivers. The executive vice president at the National Network to End Domestic Violence and safety at Uber, Cindy Southworth said that it was difficult to execute this feature as confirming the identities of the drivers by the companies is easy however the same is not easy with the passengers. However she also said that being able to select the gender of one’s driver was a welcoming task.
In the recent years Uber had faced severe criticisms with regard to the sexual abuses of its passengers. Uber is expected to release a safety-transparency report this year which will contain sexual abuse claims and other such incidents.