This past Wednesday, taxi-hailing service Careem launched their new initiative, the #MainAzoodHain Campaign, that employs women drivers in the cities of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Careem, which rivals Uber, was launched in Dubai in 2012. The company operates in 32 cities across Middle East markets like the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and they have a global force of 90,000+ drivers, with over four million users registered through the mobile app.

Yasmin Perveen, one of the seven women ‘captains’ currently employed by Careem, as a part of their #MainAzoodHain campaign. Photo courtesy of: Reuters.

The initiative was created as a way to empower and provide a safe and accommodating work environment for women, who make up 22% of the workforce in Pakistan and 50% of Careem’s customer base. In a recent statement, Careem’s Pakistan General Manager Ahmed Usman said, “We want to give women the same opportunities and the same chance that men have of leveraging our platform to generate a healthy income.” Single mother Zahra Ali, 30, took advantage of the “honourable” opportunity to support her two children after the death of her husband two years prior. At her home in Lahore, Ali told Reuters that, “The only skill I have is driving.” Within the last year, Ali had enough money to purchase a car and got her driving license. She continued by saying, “Now I can raise my children honourably, I can give my children a good education.” Although this campaign focuses on women, female drivers will pick up both men and women. In the future, Careem hopes to expand this initiative to more cities to help cater to the needs of Pakistani women. By Kelsey Seepersad Banner photo courtesy of: IGN Pakistan.

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