Women for Women Taxis
Table of Contents
Women for Women Taxis
Women for Women Taxis is a service dedicated to providing safe transport for women while also empowering female drivers. The idea behind it is that the male-dominated transportation industry presents a threat to the safety of women in many countries. In order to prevent violence against women, programs have been created worldwide in which women are the drivers and passengers of the taxi service. The online network Women 4 Women began in 2013 by Nomindari Goulden in an attempt to consolidate all the existing resources in one place. This website, WomensTaxi.org, serves to unite all these services into the Global Women’s Taxi Alliance and provide easy access to the existing global transportation services.
As Goulden writes in a recent article, the inspiration for Women4Women began like this:
- “A few weeks before graduation this May, a friend and I took a short taxi ride late in the evening. Upon arriving at the destination, the cabbie immediately got out of the car. To my surprise, I was unable to open my door. In those few seconds of pulling the handle with no success, my heart rate had doubled and I was ready to emit a primal scream. However, before I could, the cabbie had opened my door and explained that the child lock was broken and that the door had to be manually opened from the outside.
After exiting, my friend, witness to my panic, concluded that perhaps, I had over-reacted. But what my friend said next, was for me the epiphany that catalyzed the creation of WomensTaxi.Org. Quite frankly, she said that I would have never reacted in the same way, with blatant fear, had the driver been a woman…Consequently, the idea of women for women transportation took hold of me.” “Taxis for Women by Women.” Goulden, Nomindari. HuffingtonPost, 1 August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
Violence against Women
Violence against women is a term used to define gender-based violence, i.e. acts of violence directed primarily at women. The United Nations defines such violence as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical abuse, sexual abuse or emotional abuse harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” United Nations. General Assembly. Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 20 December 1993. A/RES/48/104 According to the United Nations, at least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime — with the abuser usually someone known to her.”General Assembly. In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence against Women: Report of the Secretary General, 2006. A/61/122/Add.1. 6 July 2006. For more information and specific statistics about worldwide violence against women, consult the page Violence against women.
Empowerment of Women
By using the Women for Women taxicab services, female riders are able to have liberty of movement without encountering the threat or fear of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. These taxi services emancipate women from living under a fear of violence and enables them to have access to transport thus providing them with more freedom. As noted on the WomenTaxis.org site:
- “These companies are conscious of the rights of all women to safe transportation and strive to provide services that are sensitive to the concerns women face in the male dominated taxi industry.”
Furthermore, the practice of using female drivers in a male dominated industry empowers women to take control and have autonomy in their society. The WomenTaxis.org site continues by saying:
- “W4W Taxi services empower women to challenge the gender norms of the global male dominated transportation industry by becoming competitors in a skilled and sustainable trade. The socio-economic benefits of empowering women in the work force are also monumental, as one Mumbai W4W entrepreneur, Susiie Shah, explains: “When women earn, it goes for better education, and better healthcare for the family. It also gives them social recognition. It is important for woman-hood, for people to respect women-hood. More women on the road in Mumbai, the safer the city is for women.”
There are currently 15 women-only transportation services in 10 countries.Women’s Taxi.Org: Global Companies Retrieved 29 August 2013. The oldest company is Pink Lady’s in London which began in 2006. The most recent company to join the cause is Malaysia’s Wanita Taxi.
- United Kingdom: The original Pink Ladies Service was founded in 2005 in London. Pink Ladies Services operates in London while another service named Ladies Only Travel exists in Bradford, UK. Women 4 Women.org: London/Bradford. Retrieve 29 August 2013
- Iran: Based out of Tehran, Taxi Bisim Banovan (Ladies’ Wireless Taxi) was founded in 2006. Women4Women.org: Iran Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- India: India has three different organizations, two located in Mumbai and the other in New Delhi. Viira Cabs was founded in Mumbai in 2011 by Revathi Roy and Preeti Sharma Menon. Priyadarshini taxi service also runs in Mumbai. Sakha Cabs of New Delhi was founded in 2008 by Meenu Vadeera and Nanatara Janardha. Women4Women.org: Mumbai Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Lebanon: Banet Taxi was founded by Nawal Fakhri in 2009 and is based out of Beirut. Women4Women.org: Lebanon Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Malasyia: Malaysia Teksi Wanita, Women Taxi founded in 2011. Women4Women.org: Malaysia Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Mexico: Pink Taxi is a government backed program founded in 2009. Women4Women.org: Mexico Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Mongolia: Nomindari Goulden, the founder of Women4Women is currently working to found and establish a women-only taxi company in her hometown of Ulaanbaatar. The project is set to launch in 2014. Women4Women.org: Mongolia Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Pakistan: Pink Taxi Shaikh M. Zahid, the founder of Pink Taxi in Pakistan. The idea was to launch a platform for women for the betterment of their economic empowerment. Pink Taxi is driven by women, and only for women. The project has launched on International Women’s Day in 2017. Women4Women.org: Pakistan Retrieved 29 August 2017.
- Russia: The Russian Pink Ladies Taxi Service was founded in 2006. Women4Women.org: Russia Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- South Africa: Cabs For Women By Women was founded by Marion Woolf in 2008. Women4Women.org: South Africa Retrieved 29 August 2013. The company is based out of Johannesburg.
- United Arab Emirates: Dubai Taxi Corporation: Ladies Taxi Service founded in 2007, there is another Taxi servie running in Abu Dhabi as well. Women4Women.org: Abu Dhabi Retrieved 29 August 2013.