Grozny, Russia — In some cases, finding a good taxi service is already a tough challenge itself. Unprofessional drivers, low-maintenance vehicles, and poor-quality service are a few issues that usually takes place. However, for those with conservative cultures, things might be a little worse.
For instance, women from the Muslim community are not allowed to share a cab with another man.
And that’s why 49-year-old taxi driver Madina Tsakaeva came up with the idea to offer a women-only taxi service: Mekhkari.
Mekhkari, which can be translated to “girls” in Chenchen, is an option for lady customers whose husbands won’t allow them into a cab with another man. It may also be for those who believe women are safer drivers or just prefer to ride with another woman.
According to Ms. Tsakaeva, the idea of a female-exclusive taxi came after realizing she preferred to ride with female drivers, who were hard to find.
“It was very rare for our city,” Ms. Tsakaeva said. “So we did a survey on social media about what people thought of the idea of a women-only taxi.”
The idea eventually turned into reality after the Emirates-based Zayed Fund for Entrepreneurship and Innovation gave financial support.
As of now, Mekhkari has five drivers and a fleet of five cars. The service also only takes bookings from women or women traveling with children.
“The appearance of women drivers in the sphere of this male-dominated profession is a huge step forward, a big accomplishment in a male world,” Libkan Bazayeva, coordinator of women’s rights organization Women For Development, said.
Ms. Tsakaeva plans on adding 15 more cars and offer deliveries or other services to housewives that cannot leave their homes.