Making markets gendered: Kathmandu’s ride-sharing platforms through a gender lens

Pritee Hamal, Roy Huijsmans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this article we develop the theoretical premise that platform companies are in the business of making markets from a gender perspective. We do so in relation to Kathmandu’s ride-sharing platforms which have emerged in a context of changing gender regimes. Concerns about women’s safety in public transport and recognition of women as a sizeable market-share has led one platform to build gender into its digital interface. For the other platform, gender is indirectly written into its digital design. The neat representation of gender as a bounded category at the level of the platforms’ digital interface obfuscates gender as a situated practice on and off the back of the motorbike. Analysing the placed performance of the platforms illuminates ways of doing gender necessary for (re)producing ride-sharing as a flexible and gendered good in a way that does not negatively affect women’s honour in Nepal’s conservative gender regime. We also flag potential gender based violence if actors’ main interests are different from or go beyond realising ridesharing as a gendered product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-692
JournalGender, Place and Culture
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2021

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