Gender-based violence and sexual assault, particularly against women, is a widespread social and community issue around the world and the Uber community is not immune.

This year, to help address the issues of gender-based violence both on and off the Uber platform we took a global stand for safety – and have been working with colleagues around the world on prevention programs.

Today, in the lead-up to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we are announcing a suite of initiatives specifically targeted for Australia and New Zealand.

Firstly, we are pleased to announce we will be supporting WESNET (Women’s Services Network) in Australia and the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network (SAPN) in New Zealand via financial grants to assist them to continue to do their work in the community.

Secondly, we are rolling out practical education for both driver-partners and riders in Australia and New Zealand to help improve awareness and prevention gender based violence. We have already hosted training sessions for more than 70 locally-based employees to help them better understand these issues, including how they affect all industries and communities.

Finally, we are launching a Women’s Safety Forum – a group comprised of thought-leaders and local academics and experts – to provide us with ongoing advice on this significant issue, as well as enable us to tap into the existing work that is being done across Australia and New Zealand.

To better understand how Uber’s scope and visibility can be used to make real change, we have been examining the best way to use our resources – as well as activate our network in Australia and New Zealand of employees, riders, drivers, and delivery-partners to raise awareness and drive prevention efforts in the communities in which we operate.

These initiatives have been informed by the honest conversations we have been having with experts from organisations who are on the front line, responding to and raising awareness of women’s safety and gender based violence across Australia and New Zealand.

Supporting the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

This Sunday 25 November, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, all riders and driver-partners will see a message in the Uber app highlighting the importance of taking a stand for women’s safety.

Internally we will be raising awareness among our employees, and joining together to wear orange in support.

Technology can make travel safer than ever before. Every Uber trip is tracked with GPS, we have a number of safety-focused product features such as the recently launched emergency assistance button and both driver-partners and riders can share their trip details with loved ones.

We have a team of former law enforcement professionals who are on call to work with police 24/7 to respond to urgent needs and walk them through how we can assist in an investigation. And our community guidelines are designed to ensure driver-partners and riders in Australia and New Zealand share the same understanding about courtesy, respect and accountability during every ride.

But we understand we need to keep raising the bar, and we will continue to look for ways to improve safety measures for all people using the Uber app and in our communities.

By taking these steps, we are committing to driving lasting change in Australia and New Zealand.