Saudi Arabia has finally decided to lift the ban on females driving. The new policy will go into effect in June 2018. The government feels it needs to educate women to drive and also men to cope with women drivers on road.
As soon as this policy was announced, ride-hailing application, Uber decided it is ready to employ women as drivers to better its future prospects and smooth things out after a rough last year.
The head of Uber operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty said the process would shortly begin after women can start applying and getting driver’s licenses. “We want to create economic opportunities for women as drivers on the Uber platform,” he said.
Uber has been facing some tough times in the recent past due to sexism allegations and the subsequent resignation of several of its board members. Under the new CEO Dara Khosrowshah Uber seems to be working on improving its media image.
“The idea is to make sure that there is one place where women who have never learned how to drive will have an opportunity to learn more about the whole process,” Gore-Coty said.
Decrease in Demand
Just as Women driving has opened up a lot of opportunities for car manufacturers to indulge and expand their profits off Saudia’s historic move, taxis and related services will surely face a prominent drop in demand.
Women in Saudi Arabia currently account for 80 percent of Uber rides. Private drivers and related companies will see a decrease in demand after the implementation of the policy.
Lately, women in Saudia had to rely on private drivers or ride-sharing services to commute within the country. But now that women will be allowed to get a license and drive on their own, Uber and Careem like companies will surely experience a negative effect on their economies here.