Bedoor Al-Mutairi the female business mind behind the project expects her ambitious concept to succeed because many women need to feel secure in their transportation.For women in Kuwait, travel has always been a problem. Female drivers travelling on their own or with female friends are regularly hassled, even followed by men wanting their phone numbers—going as far as knocking on car windows. Even male cab drivers have been known to kidnap their paying female customers and sell them to brothels!
Al-Mutairi hopes to spare women the hassles with her taxi solution referred to as “Eve Taxi”. The concept follows examples set in a number of Arab and Islamic countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Bangladesh. Even Britain, Spain and Mexico implemented similar transportation programs—even with the fact that these locations are much more liberal.Hopes are high that the pink taxis will help women in Kuwait travel more easily, with more freedom of movement. They really are the solution for women who hesitate to travel alone.
The program however is taking much criticism in Kuwait. Many say the pink taxis go against everything feminists have been fighting for in the Middle East being equal rights. Others say pink taxicabs are but a clever marketing tool to exploit the fears of women and make money. And others see the pink cabs as a disaster waiting to happen given the chase that some men put on when pursuing women on the streets of Kuwait, with one Kuwait blogger stating– “Since the taxis are bright pink and for ladies only, it should make life a lot easier for the guys–it’s like waving a red cape in front of a bull.”
It seems this initiative comes from the right place with Bedoor Al-Mutairi’ aim to assist women’s needs and the challenging circumstances Kuwaiti women face travelling alone. Let’s hope this helps.