In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, Uber extends its appreciation to all women, whether they are company employees or women drivers, sharing three inspiring stories of defiant women who were able to turn their challenges into success stories.
Soheir, from Sinai, lost her husband and faced the conservative traditions
Soheir had two children and was expecting her third when she lost her husband. There are conservative traditions of North Sinai about working women, and widows usually return to their family’s home when the husband passes away. Facing life’s hardships alone, Soheir knocked on all doors to find a source of earnings to be able to provide for her children, until she got the idea of driving on the Uber platform. To her surprise, her father never opposed the idea, and on the contrary, he accepted it with an open heart.
“My husband’s pension wasn’t sufficient, especially with the ever-rising costs of living. I love driving, so I had decided to buy a new car and work as a private driver.
My brother and I saw an ad in the newspaper from a driver fleet agency, and they were the first to accept the idea of me driving for earnings on Uber, and within a week after submitting the required official documents and taking the necessary medical tests, I was able to start driving on the platform,” she said.
Sohier believes that her story is a source of pride, saying:
“In the past, I was proud to be a housewife, and now I’m extremely proud and happy to have been driving on the Uber platform for five years so far.
This is mainly because of the positive change that I’ve gone through, as I gained a lot of experience, learned how to be more patient, and my personality became stronger than ever, which made me more independent.”
Jihan’s husband fell ill, and she got behind the wheel to provide for their children
At the age of 43, Jihan’s husband fell ill and could no longer provide for the family. She signed up to drive on Uber and through her earnings became the breadwinner for him and their four children.
“I love driving, and this was the most appropriate solution given I was 48 years old and have no previous work experience. After my husband was diagnosed with a chronic illness, I wanted to provide for my family by myself and I’ve learned a lot.
I was very shy before, but now I’m more independent, self-confident, and making my own decisions. My life goal is to stand by my children until they graduate from university.”
She adds: “Although I was worried at first about how riders might react, especially men, I was surprised with the respect and appreciation they’ve shown. It felt safe. Also, riders’ feedback after completing their trips never fails to motivate me, as they are truly genuine. I will never forget when someone once wrote ‘The best lady in Egypt!’, and my favorite feedback will always remain: ‘Safe driving as it should be’.”
Hekmat, from divorce and being robbed to integrity and safety
Going through a bitter divorce that resulted in financial distress, Hekmat’s house was also robbed, and she was left with nothing except her car. Her friends suggested that she should rent it, but she rejected the idea.
Hekmat, 48 years old:
“I’ve been driving on the Uber platform for 4 years, so technically I built myself from scratch with the opportunity I was given as an earner with Uber, as I wanted to be more self-reliant and independent, and I gain more experience.”
“Most Egyptian women don’t want to be controlled, and I believe that women should feel free. My family supports me despite being worried about potential risks, but I feel safe driving on Uber. My 27-year-old daughter works in the banking sector and supports me. Her colleagues even ride with me sometimes and we chat during the trips and establish friendships,” she added.
Hekmat expressed how foreigners are impressed with her being an Egyptian woman driver on Uber,
“I am proud to reflect this positive image of Egyptian women, and feel happy when riders leave positive feedback, complimenting my driving skills. One time, a female rider told me: “I use Uber a lot, but this is the first time I feel like I’m hanging out with a friend and actually enjoying my ride.”
“Another time, a rider forgot a brand new phone in my car, and I went back to Al-Maadi district only to return her phone, integrity is no less important than safety,” adds Hekmat.
Ahmed Khalil, General Manager of Uber Egypt commented:
“It fills me with pride to continue to see a number of women drivers on Uber, as we continue to work towards more diversity on the platform.
It’s extremely inspiring to listen to their success stories about how they strived towards financial independence by using the Uber platform to increase their earnings to support their families.
We will continue to help empower more women to take part in the ridesharing industry, contributing to the Egyptian government’s 2030 vision to provide women with more economic opportunities.”
“We highly appreciate the female drivers, and trust that women are strong, reliable and an integral part of our Egyptian community, and we will do our utmost to help create a convenient and supportive environment for their wellbeing,” added Khalil.