Hala Sobhy is a regular Egyptian woman. The thing that sets her apart from the crowd is her decision to take on a job not taken by many women. She is one of the few female Uber drivers in Egypt! People usually get into the car and expect to see a man, but to their surprise, if they are lucky, sometimes they find Hala. We spoke to her to find out what it’s like to be a female driver in Egypt!
What inspired you to become a driver?
A friend of mine told me about Uber after having joined it himself. I was surprised that there is something like this in Egypt, but of course I wasn’t convinced at the beginning. Later on, I met with their management and they convinced me, so I attended the training. I said I would try it out in my free time, but after a while I realized that the demand is quite high.
Do you have another full time job?
I left my job soon after I started working as a driver. It is a lot easier and more flexible; you set your own working hours and there is no one to tell you exactly what to do.
Do you take any precautions when on the road?
I set my own hours. I only work until 5pm. All the people I pick up are registered on the application, so we know exactly who they are. I have never felt scared or worried or anything.
“Most of our customers have used the application outside Egypt first, and are used to seeing women working as drivers, but when they get into the car with me they get very surprised!”
Have you even been put in a bad situation?
Only once, actually. A guy that was completely against women working at all. We went into a long debate for the whole ride, but nothing related to harassment.
How does your family feel about this job?
Of course they weren’t happy about it at the beginning. They said we got you a car for personal use, not to use it for work. Later they noticed that I was really happy and it is something I am excited about. They are more accepting to it now.
Do people get surprised when they get into the car and find a woman? What kind of reactions do you get?
Most of our customers have used the application outside Egypt first, and are used to seeing women working as drivers, but when they get into the car with me they get very surprised! All the comments I got were positive; people are very supportive, encouraging me and saying they love what I’m doing.
Have you ever faced sexual harassment?
So far all the people are very well mannered. All they want is good service and for someone to take them from one place to the other without any problems.