In one city in Pakistan, 90% of women who travel by bus experience harassment, says a 2018 report co-led by the UN. And in a country where only three percent of households own a car, commuting can be a real barrier to women entering the workplace.
Hira Rizvi, from Islamabad, moved to the USA to study as a Fulbright Scholar when companies like Uber started to take off. This gave her the idea for She’Kab, a ridesharing service designed for women.
“I wanted to create a solution that addressed women’s needs,” says Rizvi, whose company now operates in two cities, Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
But simply importing Uber or Lyft’s model was a non-starter. “The idea of women jumping into a random car was a huge consideration for people back home,” says Rizvi. “I knew that for a ridesharing service to work in Pakistan, it had to take cultural and religious realities into account.”