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technology 25 Nov 2019

Bolt for women, a blessing or a curse

BY SYLVIA KEYA

Following the recent events where bolt female customers have reported on sexual and physical harassment by their male drivers, Bolt Kenya decided to launch a ‘women-only’ feature that allows users to have women drivers chauffer them. This move by Bolt is supposed to make female customers feel safe and protected considering the dangers women face while traveling.

While this might have felt like the best initiative by Bolt Kenya at the time, more women have come out to question its authenticity in that fare prices have been hiked for women and for most of them, it does not come as a welcome idea as they feel as though Bolt Kenya is punishing them for airing and voicing out their grievances.

Are women paying more for their safety? In this day and age of women equality and empowerment, are women still being subjected to a gender bias where they have to leverage their rights in order to achieve any form of justice on their end? Bolt for women comes in as a blessing and a curse for both female drivers and customers in that it offers economic empowerment for its drivers but their customers have had to part with a little more money in order to access their service, a move in which they have since come to dub as “pink tax”.


Speaking for Bolt, the spokesman Micah came out to address the difference in fare prices issue and said that the demand for women drivers is higher than they can supply. To this he added that the women only services is linked to a broader women’s empowerment initiative within Bolt worldwide.

Is women safety guaranteed even with this new feature? This question lingers on because just like their female customers, Bolt women riders still face the same risks of harassment and assault within their line of work.