(Web Desk) – Ride-hailing service, Careem, has launched its new initiative aiming towards women empowerment by introducing female drivers to take users around the city.
The program began in November last year, encouraging women to sign up as female captains and break the barriers in male-dominated profession.
Managing Director Careem Pakistan Junaid Iqbal while addressing the media on Wednesday said when they first launched the service they thought that women would not use it often due to safety concerns.
To address this issue they provided they completed background checks on their drivers and provided details to the user.
“Around 70% of our users are female so we planned on launching an initiative ‘for women by women’ but that’s impossible as we would need around 20,000 to 30,000 female drivers available at all times to cater to the female users,” he said. “So why not have women drive men around too?”
Careem aims to encourage women to take charge behind the wheels and enroll as female drivers.
Careem plans to eliminate shock as a reaction to finding a female captain on the ride by making women behind the wheels a common practice.
In November, the company started to bring in female captains but only managed to get around 20 drivers so far.
“We introduced the female captain feature temporarily in the beginning to find out how people would respond,” said Head of Public Affairs at Careem, Sibtain Naqvi while talking to Dunya News.
“After receiving a positive feedback, we have decided to employ more than 1000 female captains by December and make it a permanent feature by March 2018,” he said.
Careem has partnered up the Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme (PMYBL) where women will be endorsed by Careem to receive a loan and own a vehicle.
The idea behind this is to encourage women to not only gain ownership of their vehicles but also become financially independent to lease out more vehicles and hire other women to become female captains. This will allow them to become employers as well.
Careem‘s mission to empower women starts with the journey of female captain Fauzia Farrukh becoming one of the many female drivers to take over the roads of Pakistan.
Watch Fauzia explain her journey in a video posted on Careem‘s official Facebook page: