UN backs out of Uber deal for a million women's jobs

The United Nations appears to have gone back on plans to create one million jobs for women, seemingly due to pressure from unions and NGOs.

The deal with Uber Technologies was announced on March 10 and pledged a six-figure job creation within five years.

Travis Kalanick, Uber’s founder and Chief Executive, announced that: “UN Women and Uber are launching a partnership to work together around the world toward a shared vision of equality and women’s empowerment.

“We intend to invest in long-term programs in local communities where we live and work, as Uber commits to creating one million jobs for women globally on the Uber platform by 2020.”

However, following pressure from trade unions and women’s rights organisations, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, has publicly cancelled the collaboration.

“UN women will not accept an offer to collaborate on job creation with Uber, so you can rest assured about that,” she said in a speech at the Commission on the Status of Women conference at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday.

The u-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.”

Comments (3)

  • James
    James@ Paul
    Tue, 24 Mar 2015 2:10pm GMT
    I guess I have a more idealistic (or naive) view on human nature.
  • Paul
    Paul@ James
    Tue, 24 Mar 2015 1:54pm GMT
    I'm with you there, but I think part of the point is that Uber drivers aren't subject to the same licensing and regulation as traditional cab drivers. So the argument is that it's too easy to become an Uber driver, and that there are more likely to be bad people among them.
  • James
    Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:43pm GMT
    I find it perplexing that Uber can be blamed for the actions of it's drivers. Would NGO's and trade unions be so quick to condemn cabs if a passenger was raped, assaulted or mugged?

    There are bad apples in every organisation. With Uber you always have evidence of who your driver is, so although not a form of protection, at least a defence from impunity.

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