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Wow, that was fast. UN Women cancels partnership with Uber

By David Holmes , written on March 20, 2015

From The News Desk

Remember how confused we all were last week when UN Women, the United Nations' entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, announced a partnership with Uber?

You know, the company whose drivers have been accused of rape and sexual assault on multiple continents? The company which also allegedly tried to smear the women who accused its drivers of those attacks? The one whose CEO suggested his company should be called "Boober" because of all the tail he allegedly gets?  And the one that threatened to smear a female journalist (Pando's Sarah Lacy) because she was too critical of the company?

The partnership announcement was a pretty obvious (and odious) PR stunt on the part of Uber but it wasn't clear why UN Women would go along with it. Well, apparently the gender equality group finally asked themselves the same question, following what BuzzFeed describes as a "public outcry" over the partnership. The executive director of UN Women has just announced that the partnership is being cancelled.

"I [want] to assure you that UN Women will not accept the offer to collaborate on job creation with Uber,” Phumzile Miambo-Ngcuka said in a speech to the UN, first reported by BuzzFeed.

[UPDATE: Fast Company reached out to let me know they reported it a few minutes before Buzzfeed]

But hey, maybe Uber shouldn't fret too much over it -- Paul Carr has plenty of ideas for how the company can win back women, like "the launch of a $1,000,000 fund to help young female journalists choose a different career, like nursing or salt mining," or "the end of “Casual Misogyny Fridays” and “Turn a Blind Eye to Sexual Assault by Drivers Monday-Sundays.”

[Update: Pando's Paul Carr emailed Uber investor, Lowercase Capital's Chris Sacca to ask if he thought investors might soon run out of excuses for supporting the embattled company. Sacca responded: "Will there ever be a point where Pando runs out of excuses for why nobody reads your site?"]

Here's the full video of Miambo-Ngcuka's speech: