Egypt's women-only taxi service promises protection from male drivers

carolepng
Posted October 26, 2015 from Papua New Guinea

I saw this post through Facebook and thought it'd be good to share --

It's great how we come up with innovative ways and creative ways to be that voice and at the same time offer a service and and opportunity for women to be safe, and for those operating this initiative - a form of income.

Yes there are pros and cons but the message and the reason is there.

This is the article below taken from The Guardian

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Egypt’s Pink Taxi – a new service marketed as a safe way for women to travel in Cairo, where sexual harassment and assaults have become increasingly commonplace – is surprisingly neither pink, nor a taxi.

“This is not a taxi. It’s a limousine service,” says Reem Fawzi, the founder of the service. The name is simply marketing, she adds.

HarassMap: where are sexual assaults happening in Egypt?

Read more

Appearing on influential TV talk shows, Fawzi promises Egyptian women “privacy and safety” from male taxi drivers. “Just enter ‘taxi driver’ into Google [in Egypt] and it will suggest ‘taxi driver kills’; ‘taxi driver rapes’; ‘taxi driver steals’,” she says.

Fawzi hopes to eliminate some of the risks for women and families travelling in public: Pink Taxi is operated exclusively by female drivers, and must be ordered in advance. Customers are required to send in a scan of their national ID “for the safety of the driver,” Fawzi adds.

The company’s vehicles also come with an internal camera and a microphone to record every ride – and a so-called “kill” button to remotely stop the car if needed...'

You can read more of it at the link

Comments 4

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libudsuroy
Oct 28, 2015
Oct 28, 2015

Thank you for sharing this story, Carole. Indeed, this is an innovative idea that can be replicated in other cities. I see a lot of female car drivers in my country but female taxi drivers are rare.

kaitlinl
Nov 28, 2015
Nov 28, 2015

CAROLEPNG-

Thank you for sharing this article! I was shocked by the fact that 99.3% of women in Egypt are sexually harassed. 

As a women who travels frequently, I welcome companies like this who are trying to make the world a safer place for women who need transportation and also provide safe employment for women. 

Yes, there are absolutely pros and cons to this taxi service, but I think that it is a step in the right direction-- even if it only brings awareness to the fact that sexual harassment is so common in Egypt and around the world.

Warm wishes,

Kaitlin

juliethmaya
Dec 09, 2015
Dec 09, 2015

This is great, thanks for sharing Carolepjng!

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to visit Egypt and felt in my own skin the level of street harassment, which was only a little less when accompanied by males. But not completely abolished, in fact he was asked "how many camels?" frequently.

It's good to know about avenues to be safer both as a resident of a country and as a guest.

Tamarack Verrall
Feb 20, 2016
Feb 20, 2016

This is a great and necessary service. Clicking on the link I was glad to read even more about these courageous and determined women drivers, and also about the safety features and training involved. I was sorry to read that some women activists object to this business for women, by challenging the service as a way of infantilizing women. As long as aggression from male taxi drivers remains an issue, along with the reality that 99% of women have been molested by men at some point in our lives, a safe ride with a woman driver is an important service. I hope that the costs can be kept to match what is generally available. Though the goal for us all is to be safe and respected throughout society, I believe that times that we are able to experience moments of safety in our own company as women is what gives us a chance to catch our breath, experience support from each other and have rare and precious time in which we feel safe. This also gives us the option of supporting another woman financially by our money going directly to her!