US-based ride-hailing company Uber announced on Tuesday that it is implementing a set of measures to raise awareness among drivers and customers about sexual harassment and assaults, according to a press release by the company.
The effort is in partnership with HarassMap, an Egyptian anti-sexual harassment initiative.
The new measures include adding sexual harassment awareness to driver training and providing drivers with resources to take positive action if faced with such incidents.
"Through our technology, we are providing a safe and reliable ride in a way that was not possible before, and we are engaging with members of the communities we serve and working with HarassMap to raise awareness and prevent sexual harassment in Egypt," said Abdel-Latif Waked, Uber general manager in Egypt.
The campaign, which was launched in the US by Uber on Monday, is an international effort to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault and domestic violence globally, the press release said.
The San Francisco-based cab-hailing company operates in Cairo, Alexandria and Mansoura, and provides services in the North Coast resort area during the summer season.
In 2016, Uber said that 30,000 drivers were using the service in Cairo as their sole source of income, making the Egyptian capital the fastest growing market in the region for the car-hailing application since its launch in late 2014.
HarassMap has expressed high hopes for the partnership with Uber.
"This collaboration is not only a foundation for safer transport for everyone, but is also a great model for other companies and businesses to follow to establish a workplace that does not tolerate sexual harassment,” HarassMap said, adding that the initiative should help ensure services that are safe for both men and women.
“Our work has already reached 60,000 Uber drivers in Egypt, and we are targeting a much higher number for this year,” said HarassMap.
Sexual harassment was first criminalised in Egypt in 2014, with violators facing minimum jail terms of six months and/or fines of EGP 3,000 to EGP 5,000.
The law defines sexual harassment as using physical, verbal or electronic communication, or any other action, that carries sexual or pornographic connotations.