Safety Concerns Mount: Should Egyptian Women Boycott Ride-Hailing Apps?

For some time now, ride-hailing apps in Egypt have been under the spotlight because of posing safety concerns for commuters. From kidnappings to assaults, cases have been piling up.

Back in March, 23-year-old Habiba al-Shamaa died after throwing herself from a ride-hailing car while on a Cairo highway, all in an attempt to escape her driver, who was trying to kidnap her.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago, there was yet another incident involving the kidnapping and assault of a young woman by a ride-hailing driver. That is two incidents in the span of merely a couple of months.

The Other Incidents

Even if the incidents are sparse, there is a general discomfort and unease when it comes to women using ride hailing apps. An Egyptian woman by the name of Yomna Yassin was in a scary situation herself.

She was once on a ride where the driver was cussing other drivers the entire time and drove dangerously fast. Then, at the end of the ride, he locked her in the car and insisted that she rate him while he watched. Many similar incidents were spoken of.

The question is, what is the solution? Knowing that women are the ones mainly facing these incidents and that it is not one mere solitary act, should Egyptian women boycott ride-hailing services in general?

Should Ride Hailing Services Be Boycotted?

Two incidents in the span of a couple of months sparked a social media frenzy. On LinkedIn, a business journalist called Salma Arafa posted about the two incidents, raising the question of whether ride-hailing services should be boycotted.

A stream of comments washed in, with CX & Ops Management Head Ahmed Shingy supporting the boycott, “I think a boycott campaign is a measure that will force them to own their screening process. This is no joke and the lack of response from their side is appalling.”

This raises the idea of boycotting ride-hailing apps until they employ a stricter screening process for selecting their drivers.

What About Using Female Only Riding Hailing Apps?

These apps actually do exist in Egypt. One in particular is called Female Car. It is a ride-hailing service where women are the ones behind the wheel. The service is actually quite expansive, as it offers all kinds of rides. It even offers travel trips and driving classes.

It is not a permanent solution but can be used in replacement of the usual ride hailing apps until they deploy a more efficient screening process for drivers.

Overall, there is only so much you can do to stay safe. However, by taking certain steps, you can make your ride a bit safer. This involves some steps you can take and measures implemented by companies behind the ride-hailing apps to boost your safety.

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