In Egypt, 25% of the female drivers working for Uber were previously unemployed, according to a study that was conducted by the International Finance Corporation, a sister organisation of the World Bank.
The study, named Driving Toward Equality: Women, Ride-Hailing, and the Sharing Economy, brings together findings and recommendations for both the ride hailing industry and companies in the sharing economy.
International Finance Corporation used anonymised and aggregated data from Uber, drew from surveys with over 11,000 female and male drivers and riders in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, as well as interviews with more than 40 global experts.
The study revealed that women surveyed reported receiving an increase in earnings of 29% after joining the ride hailing industry, nearly double the increase of men, due to the women being previously unemployed or employed on a part-time basis.
This figure is considered the highest in Egypt of the six countries surveyed.
The study also stated that almost all women drivers surveyed (92%) said the money they earn through driving allows them to buy goods or services that were previously beyond their means.
Meanwhile, two-thirds of these women say they use the money for basic needs such as food and rent, while the remaining women use it to improve their living standards.
The study also showed that, despite cultural barriers that play a strong role in limiting the recruitment of women drivers, 57% of male drivers surveyed say they would be unhappy if a woman in their family wanted to sign up.
On the other hand, the study stated that approximately one-third of women drivers surveyed rely on ride hailing for all their personal income while still being able to take responsibility of other commitments, including care giving for their children, household responsibilities, and handling other private businesses, given the flexibility of working for Uber.
Commenting on the study’s findings, Rana Kortam, senior public policy associate at Uber Egypt, said that it is very important to be able to provide equal opportunities for men and women through innovative technology, explaining that the study released findings and recommendations to help Uber and other companies achieve that.
She assured that Uber continuously works to provide flexible and safe economic opportunities for women in Egypt, empowering them, stabilising families, and increasing the number of women in the country’s labour force, which is 23%, according to World Bank findings in 2017.
“This objective comes in parallel with utilising technology to provide convenient and safe mobility for riders,” she assured.