For people who use ride-hailing services all over the world, safety is a big issue — even more so for women.
One way to combat this is to have female passengers be driven by female drivers, and that is the rationale behind An Nisa. An Nisa is an online taxi-hailing service in Kenya run by women that serves female passengers and young children only.
An Nisa was founded by Mehnaz Sarwar and she made the decision to start the company after she discovered that she and many women who used cabs in Nairobi were uncomfortable getting into vehicles with unfamiliar men. She said:
"I was always uncomfortable being in a car with someone I didn’t know, especially if it was a male. So I was always in search of a female driver. I realized that a lot of ladies are still in that position."
Across the world, female drivers make up just 3% of the driver population on ride-hailing apps — disproportionate to the number of women who use ride-hailing apps.
Mehnaz started An Nisa to cater to women not just as passengers, but also behind the wheel. Susan Cherotich, one of over 50 female drivers who has signed up on the platform, says it is different from other platforms she has worked for:
"It is long overdue. Now that we have our own app, we run it and especially for us, it is more empowering."
"Now that the commissions are lower, we’ll be able to earn a bit more. And because most of the riders are ladies, should they all embrace this app, we’ll be able to earn more out of it."
An Nisa has a lot to figure out. The economics, expansion, marketing...you name it. But we are very hopeful for the success majorly because it puts the safety of women at the forefront of its priorities. Honestly, we're rooting for it because it's by women for women. That's all.