For a significant amount of time in India, getting in a cab there was 100% chance that it would be driven by a man, but as of 2015, at least 200 cabs are being driven by women.
According to Uber’s India division, the hope is for the number of active commercially-licensed women drivers to increase to more than 500 by the end of the year. “There are social and cultural barriers to women going into the streets alone or working at odd hours,” explains Mashable. “Safety remains a concern as well, and most training courses include lessons in self-defence.”
Nonetheless, for many women the risks of being a cab driver do not outweigh the benefits — financial independence, increased confidence, and the ability to set their own hours and provide for family accordingly.
Uber, in partnership with UN Women, has vowed to create 100,000 jobs for women drivers worldwide by 2020; in India this number would be closer to 50,000. The women who are currently cab drivers explain to Mashable that they get approached by other women wanting to learn more about how being a cab driver is like. In many cases mothers will also comment that they feel better now that their daughters can take cabs driven by women.
“I often discuss the issues of women’s safety with my daughters,” says Shanno Begum, a female cab driver, to Mashable. “Ultimately, we need to become self-reliant and enable women to become stronger and deal with any situation.”
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.