Uber lectures Pakistan drivers to deter sex harassment

12:32 PM | 5 Mar, 2016
Uber lectures Pakistan drivers to deter sex harassment
ISLAMABAD (APP) - Uber is teaching its drivers in Pakistan how not to sexually harass women, a spokeswoman said Friday, after the popular transport app launched in the conservative country where women are often hassled on public transport.

In Pakistan, “there is lack of knowledge on what constitutes sexual harassment”, said Shaden Abdellatif, a spokeswoman for ride-hailing service that launched in the teeming eastern city of Lahore on Thursday.

“It seems it is not part of the conversation in basic education”, she added, saying only Uber drivers in Lahore and in the Egyptian capital Cairo had to undergo the training.

California-based Uber was officially banned from the Indian capital Delhi after one of its drivers raped a young woman passenger there in 2014 in a case that made international headlines.

Women in Pakistan have fought for their rights for decades in a country where so-called honour killings and acid attacks are commonplace and where females face routine public harassment.

The seminar was brief — about half an hour of the four hours of training that Uber’s several hundred drivers in Lahore receive — and will continue to be conducted for newly-joined drivers in the future.

Trainees were also told not to contact women after dropping them off, or to pass their passengers’ phone numbers on to others.

“Our primary objective is that drivers understand that sexual harassment is not just about assaulting or harming someone,” said Tooba Fatima, from Pakistan-based social enterprise RABTT, which designed the seminar.

“Making someone uncomfortable is harassment, whatever your intention is,” Fatima said.

“People here tend to stare, make comments on the way one is dressed, ask questions about who you are going to see or why. And it is the woman who ends up being told: ‘You should not be out so late’, ‘Why would you go here or there’.”

Abdellatif told AFP the company is trying to offer “a safer space in public transport for women through educating the drivers, even on a very basic level”.

Three quarters of Pakistani women do not participate in the labour market, mainly due to a lack of safe transportation, according to a study by the International Labour Organization.

But there has been a slew of recent initiatives to redress the balance, such as “The Pink Rickshaw” scheme in Lahore, which aims to empower working-class women by providing them with vehicles to transport other females.

The government of Punjab province meanwhile launched an awareness campaign last year called “Women on Wheels” to highlight gender-based violence and street harassment.

Uber, which launched its service at a price of 13.7 Pakistani rupees ($0.13) per kilometre, hopes to expand to other cities in Pakistan outside Lahore.

The start-up valued at over $50 billion is now present in 69 countries and some 380 cities.

The author is working as Editor Digital Media for Daily Pakistan and can be reached @ItsSarfrazAli.


Rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 25 Feb 2024 forex rates

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 25, 2024 (Sunday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 25 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94


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