UN Women Clarifies: It’s Not Partnering With Uber On Hiring 1 Million Female Drivers

uberwomenEarlier this month, ridesharing service Uber announced what appeared to be a partnership with the United Nations’ UN Women organization aimed at hiring 1 million female drivers by 2020. The news raised concerns because of the number of Uber drivers accused of assaulting female passengers, as well as the company’s loose policy for what constitutes a “hire,” and last week UN Women confirmed that it was not partnering with Uber on this initiative.

Uber drivers can work as few as a couple hours a week, and many skeptics pointed out that the company could easily “hire” a million female drivers but that these women would still need to work elsewhere to make a living.

Following criticism from groups like the International Transport Workers’ Federation, which claims that Uber drivers’ “independent contractor” status means they are exempt from things like minimum wage and health care benefits, UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka announced last week that the organization would not be working with Uber.

“I want to assure you that UN Women will not accept an offer to collaborate in job creation with Uber,” she said at the end of a recent speech. “So you can rest assured about that.”

A rep for UN Women later clarified that there was no official partnership with Uber other than a single event.

“UN Women is grateful for Uber’s generous support to this event, and encourage Uber to continue its efforts to promote gender equality,” a spokeswoman for UN Women explained in a statement to Bloomberg. “At this point, we do not plan to expand the collaboration.”

In a separate statement to Buzzfeed, a rep for Uber says the company still intends to make good on its plan to hire 1 million women over the next five years.

“Uber was proud to sponsor the UN Women event last week, and we share their vision of accelerating economic opportunity for women globally,” said the Uber spokesperson. “As part of our commitment to this vision, Uber set an ambitious goal to create 1,000,000 jobs for women as drivers on the Uber platform by 2020.”

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