Careem Pakistan and its mission to empower women

Published: July 26, 2017


After launching female captains in November last year, Careem Pakistan has now expanded the network of its women drivers, thus contributing towards women empowerment.

Careem Pakistan CEO Junaid Iqbal

“Initially, we thought we should have an exclusive women service but that would not have been logistically possible. Instead, why not women driving men around,” Managing Director Careem Pakistan Junaid Iqbal said at an event in Karachi on Wednesday.

Careem’s initiative is to defeat the social “shock factor” of women driving. The company claims 70% of its customers are women, and by December 2017, it wishes to induct at least 1,000 female captains across the country.

Careem launches women drivers in Pakistan

The shock factor of seeing a woman at the wheel is something Careem wishes to erase. According to the ride-hailing service, they took this initiative to encourage women reclaim public spaces and enroll in jobs known to be predominantly male-oriented.

“It should be an ordinary thing to see a woman drive. That is our main objective,” Iqbal reiterated.

Although Careem’s female captain induction started at a slow space with currently 17 female captains in their fleet, their recent initiative with the Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme (PMYBL) that finances you to secure a loan, enabling women to take ownership of their vehicle.

This will encourage, the company claims, more females to get behind the wheel.

Fouzia Farrukh, one of Careem’s first female captains, just secured her loan, allowing her to take ownership of her vehicle.

With two children still in primary school, she sets off each day at 8am and finishes work at night.

In an interview with The Express Tribune, Farrukh spoke about her experience as a Careem captain.

Female Captain Fauzia Farrukh

“The last ride I accept is around 8pm. However, I am usually on the road till 9-9:30pm till the drop off is done.”

She also spoke about responses she gets from male clients. “They don’t appear shocked or perplexed. They’re more concerned about their ride, and getting there on time. They don’t react,” Farrukh said. “More Women should be a part of this initiative as it empowers us.”

Careem introduces 7 female captains to its fleet

Pakistan being near the bottom of Global Gender Gap Index and having only 30% of females as part of the labour force, it was about time efforts were made towards Women inclusion in the work force.

According to the IMF, Pakistan’s GDP could increase by around 30% if it reduced its gender disparity in the work force.

While Careem is hopeful to defeat the female driving taboo, it certainly has taken a step towards reducing Gender Gap.


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Reader Comments (4)

  • Amina
    Jul 26, 2017 - 5:24PM

    Only 17 female captains out of thousands? That is less than 1%.

    Stop doing drama and actually do something for women.Recommend

  • Ashraf Mulla
    Jul 26, 2017 - 7:24PM

    I donno why we’re slowly becoming like west. This is not our culture. Please save women from all this our religion has strict role for women.Recommend

  • yamuri
    Jul 26, 2017 - 10:23PM

    @Ashraf Mulla: The role women have is perhaps beyond your understanding unfortunately. You perhaps need some education and windening of narrow vision. Recommend

  • Khappay !
    Jul 27, 2017 - 12:59PM

    Good move by Careem. I suggest Careem to install cameras in female vehicles. It’s common in Europe. This will surely not only make the captain safe but the passenger will think twice before making any move. Recommend

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