Ever heard of or used Easy Taxi? Easy Taxi is a mobile app that connects passengers to nearby registered and professional drivers with just one click, enabling an urban commuting experience that is faster, safer, and more convenient. They recently won the BEST TAXI APP award at the Nigeria Tech Awards, and also launched the Easy Taxi Safety for Women campaign aimed at creating safe commutes and standing against violence towards women worldwide.
2015 marks the 24th anniversary of the international campaign “16 Days of Activism International Day to End Violence Against Women.” This year, market leader in the taxi hailing app space, Easy Taxi Nigeria, joins over 5,000 organizations in 180 countries by publicly declaring its commitment to raise awareness about violence against women (VAW), and launching their campaign #ETSafetyforWomen intended to share gather insights around safety and security from female commuters.
The campaign was born out of a real need to address the global pandemic of violence women are subject to on a daily basis, including while commuting. Most notably, the campaign acknowledges that VAW is not just a “women’s problem;”the effects are felt throughout society, in fact, studies demonstrate that gender-based violence even slows down the pace of development and progress in our country.
The ETWomen Campaign
Needless to say, taking preemptive steps to end violence are not only necessary, but vital for all Nigerians - and Easy Taxi recognizes the solution will involve all of us. As part of their effort to address the issue, Easy Taxi’s campaign will have a multi-pronged approach, including:
Step 1: Stakeholder Engagement
The Managing Director of Easy Taxi, Adaora Asala stated that they are already speaking to a variety of stakeholders to discuss the issue of women’s safety in both Abuja and Lagos, where they operate: from security companies as potential partners on strengthening due diligence and performing more robust background checks on drivers, to women’s rights activists on driver workshops geared towards sensitization.
Step 2: Driver Engagement
Easy Taxi’s top priority is engaging its drivers to raise awareness on the issue, and equipping them as main partners in ensuring the safety of female passengers. According to Asala, “Drivers are trained adequately to remind them that there is a group of people at greater risk and it is our responsibility to make them feel more secure.”
For example, as part of monthly driver meetings, Easy Taxi trains drivers to drop off the female passengers, and wait for her to safely enter inside the gate before driving off. Training also includes ;sensitivity training, and emotional intelligence where drivers are encouraged to handle any passenger dispute with care and empathy.
Step 3: Customer Engagement
Customers are not left out of the knowledge exchange. As part of the campaign, Easy Taxi is also encouraging customers to empathize with drivers, to see them as business people who have a job, as a service provider just like any other 9-5 worker. Again, the message is that we all have a part in ensuring everyone’s safety, especially women.
A World Of Possibilities
Ms. Asala stated “It is needless imagining a world of possibilities when ‘career women’ are scared of moving in taxis at night, and many others with decent means of livelihood have been denigrated for choosing to be pillars of support for their husbands and families”.
Asala also answered all too familiar question, Why is Easy Taxi getting involved with safety and violence against women? “At the end of the day, activities like this from not just Easy Taxi, but different organizations, will serve as a rallying point for other stakeholders to raise awareness and make efforts to influence behavioural change to end gender violence.”
The solution will not be easy, and it will take collaborative effort to win the war against violence against women. But Easy Taxi hopes that by joining forces with the Nigerian community, taking small steps together, and holding each other accountable, we can all create a future where women are safe - not just when using taxis, but in our society overall.