Will Saudi Arabia’s Massive Investment In Uber Make It Harder For Saudi Women To Get The Right To Drive?

by Kailey Thompson

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.

Screen Shot 2016 06 10 at 1.06.56 PM

Screen Shot 2016 06 10 at 1.07.39 PM

Screen Shot 2016 06 10 at 1.09.05 PM

Top photo: Twitter/TALEEN

More from BUST

Saudi Millionaire ‘Accidentally’ Rapes Woman By Tripping Into Her Vagina

Saudi Women Continue To Challenge Driving Ban

In Saudi Arabia, Driving Considered “Damaging To Ovaries”

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.