Ride-hailing platform Uber on Monday said it has held gender sensitisation workshops for over 50,000 driver-partners across eight cities in India. The workshops, held in partnership with Delhi-based Manas Foundation, will be rolled out to other cities in the country as well, Uber Head of Central Operations, India and South Asia, Pavan Vaish, told PTI.
He added that Uber's teams in other countries are also looking at this model of engaging with driver-partners. "We have engaged with various stakeholders and arrived at a view that violence against women is an issue that needs to be addressed with a multi-sectoral and collaborative approach," he said. In addition to continuing to develop technology around the safety of riders, Uber has also partnered with Manas Foundation since last year to customise sessions for driver-partners to ensure they are more courteous and attentive to the needs of women riders.
These workshops, which have been organised in eight Indian cities including Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Bengaluru and Chennai, cover topics such as violence against women and its impact on them, gender and how gender roles are reinforced. These also focus on the role of driver partners in addressing this issue, how they can modify their professional behaviour to make women feel safer, legal implications and facilitating a social commitment to being a part of the solution, Vaish said.
"We are pleased that our gender sensitisation initiative has been positively received by our driver partners who display their certificates with great pride inside their cars," he said. Uber has introduced several features such as call anonymisation to protect the privacy of riders; comprehensive background checks of drivers; reminders to check ride before boarding; share trip with friends as well as introduced 24/7 safety helpline and insurance for riders. Globally, Uber has earmarked an additional USD 2.5 million under its Global Driving Change initiative for non-governmental organisations to help prevent sexual violence.