Women living in the Mexican city Pueblo can now opt to take a taxi driven by a woman. Pink Taxi de Puebla is for women-only passengers and caters to those “tired of leering male drivers.” Via the AP:
“Some of the woman who have been on board tell us how male taxi drivers cross the line and try to flirt with them and make inappropriate propositions,” said taxi driver Aida Santos, who drives one of the compact, four-door taxis with a tracking device and an alarm button that notifies emergency services. “In the Pink Taxi they won’t have that feeling of insecurity, and they feel more relaxed.”
The fleet of 35 taxis each have GPS, an alarm button and … a beauty kit (?!).
This company is part of a growing trend of women for women taxis cropping up around the globe. In July, one launched in Beirut, Lebanon, and similar services already exist in England, Russia, Australia, Iran, India, and the United Arab Emirates. (Don’t get me started on women-only subway cars and buses…)
The article talks about how the business offers a lucrative job to the women drivers, which is good. But, like with all women-only forms of public transportation, segregation does not mean equality. Women-only public transportation does not stop the men who leer at or harass women who cannot find a woman-driven taxi or need to get somewhere at a time when the women-only buses or subway cars aren’t running (or when they’re already full). It does not stop men harass women in other public spaces.
It’s easier to make something pink and tell women it will keep them safe if they use it than it is to actually address the problem, and, given the rising trend of women-only services like the one in Mexico, unfortuantely easy is the way many governments and businesses are choosing to go.