International Update

Egypt’s Women-Only Taxi Service Promises Protection from Male Drivers

Pink TaxiEgypt’s Pink Taxi – a new service marketed as a safe way for women to travel in Cairo, where sexual harassment and assaults have become increasingly commonplace – is surprisingly neither pink, nor a taxi.

“This is not a taxi. It’s a limousine service,” says Reem Fawzi, the founder of the service. The name is simply marketing, she adds.

Appearing on influential TV talk shows, Fawzi promises Egyptian women “privacy and safety” from male taxi drivers. “Just enter ‘taxi driver’ into Google [in Egypt] and it will suggest ‘taxi driver kills’; ‘taxi driver rapes’; ‘taxi driver steals’,” she says.

Fawzi hopes to eliminate some of the risks for women and families travelling in public: Pink Taxi is operated exclusively by female drivers, and must be ordered in advance. Customers are required to send in a scan of their national ID “for the safety of the driver,” Fawzi adds.

The company’s vehicles also come with an internal camera and a microphone to record every ride – and a so-called “kill” button to remotely stop the car if needed

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