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Uber Signs $3.5B Deal with Country that Prohibits Female Drivers

Uber Signs $3.5B Deal with Country that Prohibits Female Drivers

Founded in 2008 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, Uber has quickly taken over the world and driven (pun intended) competition through the roof.

With dozens of investors across the world, Uber's most recent one is from the Middle East — Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF). In other words, Uber has signed a deal with a country that prohibits female drivers (especially paid ones, like Uber would hire).

Sparking much negativity and outrage from its otherwise supportive riders, Uber sources have defended its decision saying that it will actually be "good for Saudi women."

On the other hand, outraged journalists like Dan Primack of Fortune have differing opinions.

"Uber has taken a $3.5 billion investment from a government that effectively prohibits women from driving," Primack said, adding that the Saudi government also "requires women to have male guardians" and "has sentenced men to jail time and corporal punishment for the 'crime' of homosexuality."

Driving laws that prohibit women from driving contribute to the fact that 80 percent of Saudi Arabia's Uber passengers are female — a statistic that will remain the same (if not increase) now that PIF's managing director, Yasir Al Rumayyan, is on the board and is giving the Saudi government that much less reason to change the law.

NEXT: Saudi Arabia Elects Women to Local Government for the First Time »

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Photo Credit: Hemant Mishra/Getty Images