Uber and Al Nahda to help underprivileged women learn to drive in Saudi Arabia

The partnership falls under Uber’s ‘Masaruky’ initiative launched in March

Uber and Al Nahda, a non-profit women’s organisation, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together towards empowering more women to drive in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, the two orgranisations said 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 is part Uber’s ‘Masaruky’ (your path in Arabic) initiative. Revealed in March, Masaruky has a $270,000 fund 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 Uber.

As part of the agreement, Uber will also become Al Nahda’s “Exclusive Transportation Partner” at all their events across the Kingdom, conversely the non-profit organisation will  become the partner-of-choice for the ‘Masaruky’ initiative.

“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,” said Barney Harford, Uber’s global COO.

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

“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,” she said.

Research by Uber and Ipsos found that 78% of Saudi women surveyed earlier this year were likely to get a driving license post ban removal. Almost a third (31%) of those surveyed, indicated that they were interested in driving as an earnings opportunity.

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.


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