By Catherine Tulina Kafumbe, Country Director — SafeBoda
In a remarkable feat, SafeBoda, the renowned Ugandan leading ride-hailing company, has achieved a significant milestone by empowering women through the groundbreaking Women On Wheels program jointly partnering with Women Rising for Africa, a non-profit organisation with the focus on Women empowerments.
Overcoming deep-rooted fears and cultural barriers that have historically hindered women’s equality and inclusivity in Africa, SafeBoda and Women Rising for Africa have provided a platform for women to excel in the male-dominated Boda Boda sector.
Through the Women On Wheels program conducted at the SafeBoda Academy, women go beyond simply being encouraged to join the sector, but they actively get support by accessing motorcycle loans, comprehensive training on road safety, motorcycle operation, Smart phone usage and acquisition of driving permits.
Recognizing the need for holistic empowerment, they are also trained self-defense and customer care training, equipping women with essential skills to excel in their new profession.
By offering motorcycle loans, the program has eliminated one of the primary obstacles that prevent women from entering the Boda Boda sector.
Traditionally, financial constraints have posed significant challenges for women aspiring to become motorcycle taxi riders. However, with this support, these barriers have been significantly reduced, allowing women to become self-sufficient and financially independent.
Road safety training forms a crucial aspect of the Women On Wheels program. SafeBoda emphasizes the importance of adhering to traffic rules and regulations, ensuring the safety of both riders and passengers.
By equipping women with comprehensive knowledge of road safety practices, SafeBoda not only enhances their professional capabilities but also contributes to creating a safer transportation environment for all.
Women enrolled in the Women On Wheels program to develop a strong understanding of effective communication, conflict resolution, and personal safety. These additional skills are invaluable in fostering positive customer experiences and ensuring that women riders feel confident and secure while on the job.
The impact of SafeBoda’s partnership with Women Rising for Africa to introduce the Women On Wheels program has been tremendous. Numerous success stories have emerged, highlighting the transformative power of this initiative that has now promoted over 30+ women into self financial and employment independence.
Women who were once constrained by societal norms and expectations are now breaking barriers and thriving in a previously male-dominated industry. Through their perseverance, dedication, and the support provided, these women are rewriting the narrative surrounding women’s inclusion and empowerment in Uganda and beyond.
SafeBoda and women on wheel’s commitment to gender equality and inclusivity serves as an inspiration to other organizations and societies, proving that with the right opportunities and support, women can excel in any field they choose.
The Women On Wheels program not only empowers individual women but also contributes to the overall socio-economic development of communities by challenging gender stereotypes and promoting diversity.
As the success of the Women On Wheels program continues to unfold, SafeBoda’s innovative approach will undoubtedly serve as a model for other companies seeking to promote gender equality and empower women in Africa and even beyond.
Through this program, doors have not only opened for women but has also created a powerful platform for them to thrive, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and progressive society.