The Independent

The United Nations has withdrawn from a partnership with controversial ridesharing app Uber over fears for women’s safety.

A couple of weeks ago, Uber, together with the organization U.N. Women, made the grand announcement that it would create 1 million jobs for women by 2020.

But after intense criticism from trade unions, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of U.N. Women, declared that her organization would no longer support the initiative.

Also read: Can Uber’s U.N. Partnership Fix Its Gender Problem?

As The Guardian reports:

Mlambo-Ngcuka’s about turn came after trade unions attacked UN Women for agreeing to partner with Uber, which has been accused of failing to do enough to protect female passengers from rape and sexual assault by its drivers.

Brigitta Paas, vice-president of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITWF), said: “As unions and NGOs we find it astonishing that UN Women is linking to this organisation, based on a promise of a million jobs that we know are likely to be insecure, ill paid, and potentially unsafe.

“Uber says it operates in 55 countries around the world, but according to our research, almost 40% of national or local governments in those countries have said ‘no’ to Uber one way or another.

“There is not a day that passes without a news story on Uber, but many of those stories are scandalous and disturbing. They include reports of assaults, surge pricing, and breaches of privacy. There have even been cases of Uber ignoring rulings to shut down its service and indicating to drivers that it will pay the fines and cost of any appeals if drivers are penalised for continuing to use its app to pick up passengers.”

The ITWF campaigned publicly at the conference and urged its supporters to use the hashtag #UNWomenDumpUber.

–Posted by Roisin Davis

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