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Pink Taxis Protect Mexican Women

By Anna Portela
 
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Pink taxis to the rescue. In Puebla, Mexico a fleet of 35 pink taxis driven exclusively by women are now operating for the purpose of protecting women from sexual harassment.

This comes as a result of women being harassed by male taxi drivers who not only try to flirt with the women passengers, but also make inappropriate propositions. Talk about feeling uncomfortable as well as feeling unsafe!

The new pink taxi service is also significant in that more women will have the opportunity to be taxi drivers, jobs that were traditionally held by men. According to Ms. Magazine, the source for this article, each taxi is equipped with a GPS system, a beauty kit, bank terminals and access to an emergency operator. The newspaper La Prensa said that the local transportation office of Puebla has invested 5.6 million pesos ($430,000) into the Pink Taxis.

Women’s rights groups have criticized this taxi service because they believe that the source of the sexual harassment is not being addressed. The appearance of the taxis has also come under criticism. Vianeth Rojas, of the Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Puebla, told the Associated Press the following, “ We are in the 21st century, and they are saying women have continued worrying about beauty and nothing more. They are absolutely not helping eradicate violence against women.”

Lidia Hernandez, a Pink Taxi driver told La Prensa that people on the street stop them to congratulate the drivers, and women ask how they can request one of the cabs.

I basically agree with Rojas, as well as the reasons behind the formation of this unique taxi service. Women want to feel safe, and they want to feel comfortable, and do not want to be put in a defensive mode when they take a taxi. They get all of these things when they travel in a Pink Taxi. The fact that there is a beauty kit in the taxi does seem a bit silly, but then again it is not something worthy of a feminist rights commotion. Many women rights activists wear make up; we don’t have to pretend that we don’t. It is true that the source of the sexual harassment is not being addressed with the creation of the Pink Taxis.

Add a Comment6 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi,
I will try to get you that website.
Anna

November 10, 2009 - 3:04pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Please can someone give me a website link to the Pink Taxi service in Mexico?

Also if anyone know of any other female friendly taxi services anywhere, please get in touch as I am listing them on www.safetravel4women.com

November 10, 2009 - 12:42pm
Anna Portela

Hi Diane,
Great insight! The more I think about it the more I come to the realization that pink taxis should be in every city in the world. A place for women to feel safe and secure as they go from one destination to another; that's what we need.
Anna

October 29, 2009 - 1:31pm
Diane Porter

I agree with both you and Kellie. I would not only hail a pink cab, I would wait for one as other traditional taxis passed me by. And that''s just from the point of view of supporting the women driving the cab and the person who thought of the business. If I lived in a country where I knew even a male taxi driver would probably harass me, I would find such relief in this being an option.

It may not address the sexual harassment per se, but I'm willing to guess that when the pink taxi service is a wild success, hiring more and more women and purchasing more and more cabs, that the power of the dollar will help change behavior in areas where legislating and peer pressure simply can't.

October 29, 2009 - 7:50am
Anna Portela

Hi Kellie,
I too would definitely hail a pink cab. And I hope the idea catches on in Australia and elsewhere, reality being what it is.
Anna

October 27, 2009 - 4:24pm
Kellie - My Health Software

It's a shame that women feel threatened or scared in Taxi's, but I know I have done before. If I had the choice of hailing a pink female friendly cab or a normal cab - I'd pick pink everytime!
They have cleverly found a need out there and I am sure the taxi service will do well. I hope it comes to Australia.

October 27, 2009 - 3:50pm
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