As part of its unwavering commitment to set the highest safety standards in the industry, Uber, the world’s largest on-demand ride-sharing company, in partnership with Manas Foundation, a Delhi-based NGO working in the field of mental health, gender equity and justice, held gender sensitisation workshops for over 50,000 driver partners across eight cities with more than 4,000 driver partners in Chennai, this year.

Today, to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which also marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Uber has pledged to exponentially expand the program, which has been received very positively, to ensure many more driver partners are exposed to this initiative.

Uber believes that violence against women is a widespread problem in India and one that needs to be addressed with a multi-sectoral and collaborative approach. In addition to continuing to develop technology that contributes to the safety of all those who use Uber’s app, it has been partnering with the Manas Foundation since last year to customise sessions for driver partners to ensure they’re more courteous and attentive to the needs of women riders.

Uber’s gender sensitisation workshops are held in batches, daily, across Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Bangalore and Chennai, consisting of an in-person module to driver partners facilitated by Manas Foundation trainers. These workshops cover relevant topics like violence against women and its impact on them, gender and how gender roles are reinforced, the role of driver partners in addressing this issue, how to modify their professional behaviour to make women feel safer, legal implications and facilitating a social commitment to being a part of the solution.

Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations, India and South Asia, said: “At Uber, we believe in the transformative potential of technology to create safer rides, but at the same time, we recognize that we still have to work together across sectors to be a part of the solution for trying to reduce gender-based violence. Our goal is to enable safe transportation for women, which in turn has a huge impact on the choices they make and the opportunities they can access. We are very pleased that our gender sensitisation initiative has been very positively received by our driver partners who display their certificates with great pride inside their cars.”

Adding to this, Monica Kumar, Co-Founder, Manas Foundation, said: “Nearly 1 in 3 women around the world experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, and we know that everyone has an important role to play in addressing this global epidemic. This issue impacts all genders and communities around the world, including the Uber community. We are very excited to scale up this distinctive program with Uber to engage men in taking ownership of the safety of their women passengers. The training helps clarify what encompasses sexual and street harassment and it is this understanding of the issue that has been crucial to the change in the treatment of women – as commuters and members of their own families.”

Uber has introduced several innovative features such as call anonymisation to protect the privacy of riders; comprehensive background checks of drivers; reminders to Check Your Ride before boarding; Share Trip for your peace of mind; 24/7 Safety Helpline for any urgent assistance during trips; and insurance for riders.

Uber envisions a transformed future of mobility that respects everyone and ensures reliable and accessible rides at the push of a button.