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Uber provides free lifts to women voting first time in Saudi Arabia

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New Delhi: Uber, the online taxi service is offering free rides to women in Saudi Arabia as the nation sees the women voting first time in the elections.

Saudi Arabia, a conservative Islamic country has allowed women to vote and contest elections the first time in their history. Uber, in a bid to help the women participation in the ongoing election, decided to provide free lifts for all the women who are going to vote.

The women are also not allowed to drive in the nation or talk to a man.

This is a joint effort between US-based Uber and Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women, a Saudi women’s empowerment group.

The campaign is a part of Nahda’s wider struggle for gender equality and rights for women in the country.

Saudi Arabia is the last country to allow women to vote except for the Vatican City now. This is a first step in the long struggle of the gender equality.

Almost 1000 candidates for the elections are women which prove that they were just waiting for the opportunity.  This initiative is a way to tell women that there will be a help if they needed it.

However, a number of women said that they wouldn’t use Uber rather they would go polling booths with their family members.

This election which are a milestone step for the women in the history of Saudi Arabia and the Middle east can be an even bigger thing if somehow any women candidate manages to win.

More women voices are likely to be heard if they get representation in the decision making through the electoral process.

Uber and Nahda are hoping that their initiative encourages more women to participate in this elections.

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Women Are Rarely “Put Front And Center” At The Heart Of Climate Action

Feminism doesn't mean excluding men

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Former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks during a meeting at Associated Press headquarters, in New York, May 8, 2017.
Former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks during a meeting at Associated Press headquarters, in New York, May 8, 2017. VOA

Women must be at the heart of climate action if the world is to limit the deadly impact of disasters such as floods, former Irish president and U.N. rights commissioner Mary Robinson said on Monday.

Robinson, also a former U.N. climate envoy, said women were most adversely affected by disasters and yet are rarely “put front and center” of efforts to protect the most vulnerable.

“Climate change is a man-made problem and must have a feminist solution,” she said at a meeting of climate experts at London’s Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship.

“Feminism doesn’t mean excluding men, it’s about being more inclusive of women and – in this case – acknowledging the role they can play in tackling climate change.”

Research has shown that women’s vulnerabilities are exposed during the chaos of cyclones, earthquakes and floods, according to the British think-tank Overseas Development Institute.

In many developing countries, for example, women are involved in food production, but are not allowed to manage the cash earned by selling their crops, said Robinson.

Earth depletion
Earth depletion, Pixabay

The lack of access to financial resources can hamper their ability to cope with extreme weather, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of the event.

“Women all over the world are … on the front lines of the fall-out from climate change and therefore on the forefront of climate action,” said Natalie Samarasinghe, executive director of Britain’s United Nations Association.

“What we — the international community — need to do is talk to them, learn from them and support them in scaling up what they know works best in their communities,” she said at the meeting.

Also read: Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wines

Robinson served as Irish president from 1990-1997 before taking over as the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and now leads a foundation devoted to climate justice. (VOA)