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Dominant ride-sharing force Uber has recently turned to Saudi Arabia for funds: The company recently announced that it had secured a massive $3.5 billion investment from the country’s Public Investment Fund.

The Saudi government gets a 5 percent stake in the company, and PIF managing director Yasir Al Rumayyan gets a seat on the board of directors. In other words, Uber has taken a $3.5 billion investment from a country that effectively bans its women from driving — let alone driving Uber. The country also requires women to have male guardians and has sentenced men to jail time and corporal punishment for the “crime” of homosexuality.

For such a “progressive” company, we wonder whether this partnership really is in the best interest of women. Some Saudi women are angry about the investment because not only does it mean the Saudi government will profit directly, but some also worry it reinforces the policy against women driving.

On social media, some women have been posting to the hashtag سعوديات_يعلن_مقاطعه_اوبر# (Saudi women boycott Uber) with screenshots showing them deleting the Uber app from their phones.


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Top photo: Twitter/TALEEN

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Kailey is an editorial intern at BUST for the summer of 2016. She hails from Austin, Texas and currently studies journalism and women's and gender studies at The University of Texas. You can contact her at