Uber, alongside other thought leaders, advocates and changemakers, came together at the third Annual GBV Shelters Indaba to solidify their commitment to eradicating gender-based violence.

This collaboration represents a significant milestone in Uber's continuous efforts to enhance women's safety and security on the Uber platform, according to the company. 

Uber says this collaboration aims to enhance the efficiency of its safety responses and features and to raise awareness about these measures. Nisaa will collect feedback from drivers and riders who use the Uber app for a month.

This invaluable input will be gathered through focus groups and surveys, enabling Uber to adapt and enhance its safety measures based on real user experiences. Some of these features include:
  • audio recording
  • in-app security button
  • women riders preferred (for drivers),
  • and RideCheck.

Building upon previous collaboration with Nisaa, the work done here will improve support, particularly in understanding drivers' and riders' concerns. The ultimate goal is to ensure that safety products and processes effectively respond to these concerns and that users have the knowledge and tools to utilise them to their fullest potential, says Uber. 

The company adds that since the first iteration of the collaboration in 2020, Uber provided over 6 000 rides via the National Shelter Movement of South Africa (NSMSA) to women who needed transportation to shelters, sometimes with their children, provided by drivers who had worked with Nisaa to understand gender-based violence (GBV) and respond appropriately.

"We previously worked with Nisaa to build tailor-made sexual harassment and sensitisation programmes that were available to all drivers," says Collen Mphabantshi, head of platform safety, sub-Saharan Africa of Uber.

"The safety and well-being of our users are of paramount importance to us. Our renewed relationship with the Nisaa Institute reaffirms our commitment to making the Uber platform safer for everyone. By working closely with Nisaa, we are taking significant steps to address the multifaceted issue of gender-based violence within our communities," Mphabantshi adds. 

Dr Zubeda Dangor, Nisaa's executive director, says, "We recognise that violence and crime are complex issues that require multi-sectoral interventions at individual, family, community and societal levels to reduce risks and address the root causes. We are excited to collaborate with women drivers and riders on the Uber platform to equip them with the necessary skills to deal with any form of violation."

Mphabantshi adds, "We are acutely aware that safety and, specifically, gender-based violence are deeply systemic societal issues that no single institution can solve alone. By working with Nisaa and learning from their expertise, we aim to craft contextually relevant approaches to address these issues."
According to Uber, it has provided a grant to enable Nisaa to continue implementing the important work they do.

The company concludes that to underscore their commitment, Nisaa and Uber recently planted a spekboom plant at Founders Square, at Tshimologong Digital Precinct, symbolising their dedication to advancing women's empowerment and rooting it even further.

For more information, visit www.uber.com and www.nisaa.org.za