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Gender-based violence (GBV) is a human rights violation and a serious crime that knows no boundaries. GBV has presented a real, daily threat for millions of South Africans. In honour of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, Uber is announcing mandatory safety education for driver-partners, for the first time in South Africa.

Driver-partners will be required to watch educational videos aimed at fostering respectful interactions and setting clear boundaries about what is appropriate and what is not. Riders will also be sent the video through the app. Expanding driver education is another step in our efforts to put safety at the heart of everything we do.

Preventing sexual misconduct and assault

Sexual misconduct and assault know no boundaries and affect all genders and communities around the globe, including the Uber community. Uber is committed to doing its part to help drive awareness, education and prevention among driver-partners and riders. Driver-partners are required to complete a range of videos that has been developed by RAINN and the Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development

Cezanne Maherali, Uber’s Head of Policy Middle East and Africa explains: ‘When it comes to fighting sexual violence, education is key. We all have a role to play when it comes to safety. Working together with gender-based violence experts, public safety officials and communities, we can all help create safe experiences for those we serve. We want to make sure we are providing clear guidance on what is appropriate or not, and promote safety and respectful interactions. I’m immensely proud we are taking this next step to make education around sexual misconduct and assault mandatory regardless of driver-partners’ status or riders’ spend with us. In every country, safety is and will continue to be a top priority.’

The educational video features tips and information about respecting privacy and personal space, conversational boundaries and sexual misconduct. It highlights resources and strategies that promote safety and respectful interactions between people during a trip.

Sima Diar, Nisaa Spokesperson says “Gender-based violence is preventable, and education can play a central role in enabling women and children to live in a world free of violence. We are grateful for our long standing partnership with Uber, and we believe that collectively we can make a difference. We stand in solidarity with those affected and will continue to use our voices to shine a light on GBV in South Africa so that more people are forced to listen.”

For the last several years, Uber has launched pioneering safety features, improved policies and processes, and has aimed to set the standard on safety in the industry. The company continues to raise the bar on safety, by listening and learning from experts, making bold changes and following through on commitments. In addition, Uber recently partnered with A21, a global anti-human trafficking organisation, to provide new resources and refreshed tips to driver-partners and delivery people so they can learn how human trafficking works, how it may present, and how they can report or reach out for help.

Riders 

Riders will also be encouraged to watch a video and have received tips on how to foster respectful interactions with drivers. Respect is a two-way street and Ubers messages around sexual misconduct are targeted to both drivers and riders. Throughout November and December we will invite riders to watch the video. Riders reported for sexual misconduct can have their access removed from the platform. See more about our Community Guidelines here.